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NATURAL 
HISTORY 



THE JOURNAL OF THE 
AMERICAN MUSEUM OK NATURAL HIS loin 



VOLUME XXXVIII 

J une-December, iqj6 



TEN ISSUES A YEAR 

Published by 

THE AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY 

NEW YORK, N. Y. 



CONTENTS OF VOLUME XXXVIII 



June, No. 1 

Malay Tiger Cover Design 

The Archer Fish in Action Frontispiece 2 

The Archer Fish Hugh M. Smith 3 

Emergence of the Butterfly 12 

The Morv of the Dinosaur Eggs Walter Granger 21 

From Atom to Colossus E. W. Gudg£r" 27 

Islands West of South America James P. Chapin 31 

Perpetual Ice Under Lava James Stewart MacClary 56 

A Safari with a New Objective George Crile & Daniel P. Quiring 61 

Outposts of Baja California Joseph R. Slevin 65 

Memorials to Lord Grey Frank Chapman 75 

Diving Spiders Gopal Chandra Bhattacharya 77 

Science in the Field and in the Laboratory 82 

Reviews of New Books 87 

September, No. 2 

The Blue Shark Cover Design 

He Gets the Iron Frontispiece 94 

Tigers of the Sea Col. Hugh D. Wise 95 

Ice from the Thunderclouds Charles Fitzhugh Talman 109 

Flowers That "Go to Sleep" Frank S. Gehr 120 

Jose — 1936 Frank M. Chapman 126 

The Desert Fish of Death Valley William V. Ward 135 

The Tragedy of the Culbin Sands H. Mortimer Batten 143 

Your Treasure-House of Jewels George C. Vaillaut 149 

Mvstery Animal Fred Streever 156 

The Glamour of the Giant's Causeway Harriet Geithmann 166 

Science in the Field and in the Laboratory 173 

Your New Books D. R. Barton 178 

October, No. 3 

Silhouettes from a Chinese Shadow Play Cover Design 

A Museum Sherlock Holmes Frontispiece 184 

Behind that Door Roy Chapman Andrews 185 

The Eclipse in Kazakhstan Clyde Fisher 203 

Through India Mr. and Mrs. F. Trubee Davison 211 

The Cutting of the Jonker Diamond Lazare Kaplan 227 

Fun with Sharks Col. Hugh D. Wise 237 

Worlds Underground Anna McNeil 249 

Creatures of Darkness Charles E. Mohr 260 

Your New Books D. R. Barton 265 

Science in the Field and in the Laboratory 270 

November, No. 4 

Early Man's Conception of the Horse Cover Design 

Exaniple of the Horse in Grecian Art Frontispiece 276 

Horses and History George Gaylord Simpson 277 

"Relief" in the Sub-Arctic Philip H. Godsell 289 

The Meteor Craters in Estonia Clyde Fisher 292 

Stardust Hubert J. Bernhard 300 

Bark Cloth from Africa Lucy Pope Cullen 304 

More Fun with Sharks - Col. Hugh D. Wise 311 

The History of the Valley of Mexico George C Vaillant 324 

Rolling Down to Mexico Charles Coles 341 

Bird Courtship H. N. Southern 349 

The Indoor Explorer D. R. Barton 353 

Your New Books 355 

Science in the Field and in the Laboratory .: 359 

Looking into Mexico 363 

December, No. 5 

Hawaiian Feather Cape Cover Design 

Orang-Utan of Borneo Frontispiece 368 

The Master Key to Oil Brooks F. Ellis 369 

Air Conditioning in Nature William K. Gregory 382 

Fleischmann-Clark, American Museum, Indo-China Expedition James L. Clark 385 

The Conquest of the Air Willy Ley 391 

William B. Whitney Tibetan-Lamaist Collection 397 

The Story of Domestic Animals in America Georg.. G. Goodwin 403 

White-Lipped Peccary Frank M. Chapman 40S 

Andorra, a Country in the Past Lawrence Fernsworth 414 

The Flesh Fly 429 

The Penitentes Florence May 435 

The Indoor Explorer D. R. Barton 439 

Your New Books 443 

Science in the Field and in the Laboratory 447 

Passport to Indo-China 453 



INDEX TO VOLUME XXXVIII 



i !■::-.] AND Hi 1 I B no 



Names of Articles Are Sri in Capitals mnl Small Capitals 



Ami Conditioning in Nature, William K. Gregory, 

I itratecl, 382-384 

Akeley, Mary L. Jobe, 82 

Akeley Memorial African Hall, 82 

American A iation ol Museums, 84 

An ira, A ('i-.im in mm Past, Lawrence Fernsworth, 

tllustrated, H4-428 
Andrews, Roy Chapman: Behind thai Door, 185-202 
Anthony, II. E., 82, 84 
A !B Fish , Tub, Hugh M. Smith, Illustrated, 3-11 



Close Neighbors of the Earth, 83 
Junior Aslronomj J lub, 83 
Junior Astronomy News. 361 

Bark Ci.dth from Africa, Lucy Pope Cullen, Illustrated, 

304-310 

Barton, D. R. : The End ■ Explorer, 353-354, 439-442 

Batten, II. Mortimer: The Tragedy of the Culbin Sands, 

143-1-18 
Behind That Door, Nov Chi an Andrews, Illustrate, I. 

185-202 
Bennett, Wendell C, .ion 
Bernhard, Hubert I.: Stardust, 300-303 
Bhattacharya. Gopal Chandra: Diving Spiders, 77-81 
Bird Courtship, 11. N. Southern, Illustrated, 349.352 
Birds: 

Birds of the Congo and "Penguin Island," 174 

City Birders, S4 

Collection, 449 

New Alpine Bird Group, 272 

Penguins in Captivity, 27J 
Book Reviews : 

Adventures in Error, 356 

Animal Micrology. 183 

Art and Life in New Guinea, 355 

Artist and Naturalist in Ethiopia, 445 

Audubon, 443 

Autobiography of Pcrcival Lowell, ss 

Birds in the Wilderness, 183 

Book of Minerals, The. So 

Camera Trails Through the Southwest, 183 

Chile: Land and Society, 181 

Comparative Psychology, Vertebrates, 183 

Conquest of Yucatan. 182 

Desolate Marches, 180 

Dogs, Cats and Monkeys, 183 

Eskimos, The, 267 

Explorations and Field Work of Smithsonian Instill!- 



Trail Bfa ei ■ 



178 



Ferns of Northeastern United States, 35S 
Gaucho Martin Ficrro, The, 208 

Geography, An Introduction to Human Ecology, 182 
Gone Sunwards, 445 
Green Laurels, 179 
Harpooner, 179 
Heads and Tales, 265 
lliiihlitlhts of Astronomy, 87 
High Trails of Glacier National. Park, 182 
How Animals Develop. 181 
How to Use Your Miniature Camera. 180 
Hundred Years of Anthropology, A, 87 
Jabo Proverbs from Liberia. 446 
Life of the. Shore and Shallow Sea, 266 
Listen for a Lonesome Drum, 182 
Mammals and Life Zones of Oregon, The, 270 
More Simple Science, 266 
More Songs of Wild Birds, 445 
Odyssey of The Islands, An, 180 
Out of Africa, 443 
Pride of Lions, 268 
Principles of Animal Psychology, 183 
Proboscidca, 357 

Reptiles of North America, The, 266 
Rich Land, Poor Land, 265 
Solar. The Salmon, 268 
Scientific Progress, 444 
Seventy Years of It, 269 
Sinkvonc Notes, 183 
Skyway to Asia, 269 

Skyways to a Jungle Laboratory — An African Adven- 
ture, 355 
Story of Prophecy, The 269 
Story of the Gems, The, 88 

Studies of the Yaqui Indians of Sonora, Mexico, 183 
Story of Human Error, 446 



Br 



in the < 

reet of l ■ 

Through 
Touring South America 

With Plane. Boat, and ' in ntand, 181 

II arid ■ i I 

i. 



Carter, T. D 

. i • 

174, 149 
Chapman. Frank: Men al- lo Lord Gn 

1936, 126 131. \\ lol. 1 1 , ■] .-I I', 
( Hark, lam. I Fleisclimann-i 

halo i hina Expi dition, 385-390. 82, 173 
i I, i harh Ki hi Di a to Mi 

I a i 'I'm Air, The, Willy 

6 

Cover Designs, 358, 442 

Creatures ,.i Dakkmss. Charles E Molir Illu-.tr.ited. 

■ 
Crile, Gcorgi i with a New Objective, 61-64 

Crocker. Templeton, 271 

Cullen, Lucy Pope: Hark Cloth from Ann.,. 304-310 
Cutting op mm Jonker Diamond, The, Lazare Kaplan, 

Illustrated, 2 ! 

Hans,, i, . Mr. ,v Mrs. F, Trubce: Through India, 211, 226 

Davison, F. Trubee, 82, 84 

hiMui Fish of Death Valley, ["m William V. Ward, 

Illustrated. 135-142 
Diving Spiders, Gopal I liandra Bhattacharya, Illustrated, 

77-81 

Eclipse in Kazakhstan, The, Clyde Fisher, Illustrated, 

10 1-210 
Education: 

New York X.lnlt Educa ouncil, 86 

Kllis. Brooks F.: The .Master Kn lo Oil, 31,9.381 

Ellsworth, Lincoln, So 

Emergence of the Butterfly, Illustrated, 12-20 

Expeditions: 

Expedition to Peru I Dec. 1935-August, 1936), 360 

Fleiscbmai n-Clark Endo-China. 173 

Harry; Snyder i Olorado, 1936. 270 

Miner's Expedition for Pearl Fisheries Group, 271 

Newsome-Watson Anticosti, 362 

Rumsey-British Columbia, 450 

Second Bird Antarctic. 273 

The 193o Alberta-British Columbia, 359 



359 



County in the Past. 
n Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, 



Swordfishing in Nova Scotia. 174 
Fisher, Clyde: The Eclipse in Kazakhstan, 203-210. The 

Meteor Craters in Estonia. 292-299. 82. 173 
Fleischmann-Clark, American Museum, Indo-China 

Expedition, James L. Clark. Illustrated, 385-390 
Flesh Fly, The. Illustrated. 429-434 
Flowers That "Go to Sleep." Frank S. Gehr. Illustrated. 

120-125 
From Atom to Colossus, E. W. Gudger, Illustrated, 27-30 
Fun With Sharks, Col. Hugh D. Wise. Illustrated. 

2M. 248 

Gehr, Frank S.: Flowers that "Go to Sleep," 120-125 
Geithmann, Harriet, The Glamour of the Giant's Cause- 
way, 166-172 
Glamour of the Giant's Causeway, The, Harriet Geith- 
mann, Illustrated. 166-172 
Godsell, Philip H.: "Relief" in the Sub-Arctic, 289-291 
Goodwin. George G. : The Story of Domestic Animals in 

America, 403-407, 174, 270 
Grand Lake, 84 

Granger, Walter: The Story of the Dinosaur Eggs. 21-26 
Gregory, William K. : Air Conditioning in Nature, 382-384. 



359 

Gudger, E. W. : From Atom to Colossus, 
Hayden Planetar 



'-30 



86, 175, 448. 450 
tory of the Valley of Mexico, The, George C. 
Vaillant, Illustrated, 324-340 



INDEX TO VOLUME XXXV III 



Horses and History, George Gaylord Simpson, Illustrated, 

277-288 
Ice From the Thunderclouds, Charles Fitzhugh Tal- 

man, Illustrated. 109-119 
Indoor Explorer, The, D. R. Barton, Illustrated, 353-354, 

439.44? 
Islands West of South America, James P. Chapin, 

Illustrated, 31-55 
Jose— 1936, Frank Chapman, Illustrated, 126-134 
Kaplan, Lazare: The Cutting of the Jonker Diamond, 227- 

236 

Lerner, Michael, 174 

Ley, Willy: The Conquest of the Air, 391-396 

Looking into Mexico, 363-365 

MacClary, James Stewart: Perpetual Ice Under Lava, 56-60 



Ma 



als 

Antelope, 174 
Bison, 174 



Man: 

American Indian, 85 

Cree Indians, 359 ,. T „ 

Master Key to Oil, The, Brooks F. Ellis, Illustrated, 

369-3S1 
May Florence, The Penitentes, 435-438 
McNeil Anna- Worlds Underground, 249-259 
Memorials to Lord Grey, Frank Chapman, Illustrated, 

Meteor Craters in Estonia, The, Clyde Fisher, Illus- 
trated, 292-299 

Mohr? Charles-" E.: Creatures of Darkness 260-264 
More Fun With Sharks, Col. Hugh D. Wise, Illus- 
trated, 311-323 
Murphy. Robert C, 84, 86 ,-,« 

Mystery Animal, Fred Strcever, Illustrated, 1^6-163 

Outposts of. Baja California, Joseph R. Slevin, Illus- 
trated, 65-74 

Passport to Indo-China, 453-455 

Penitentes The Florence May. Illustrated. 43.i-4ob 

Perpetual 'Ice Under Lava, John Stewart MacClary, 

Illustrated, 56-60 
Pinkky, George, 361 
Pomeroy, Daniel E., 82 



Quiring. Daniel P.: A Safari with a New Objective, 61-64 

"Relief" in the Sub-Arctic, Philip H. Godsell, 289-291 
Rolling Down to Mexico, Charles Coles, Illustrated, 
341-348 

Safari With a New Objective, A, George Crile & Daniel 

P. Ouirina, Illustrated, 61-64 
Sanderson. Mrs. R. D., 85 
Saunders, Mrs. Agnes K., 86 
Sawyer, Wilbur, 359 

Simpson. George G.: Horses and History, 277-2S8 
Slevin, Joseph R.: Outposts of Baja California, 65-74 
Smith, Hugh M.: The Archer Fish, 3-11 
Snyder, Harry, 174, 270 
Southern, H. N.: Bird Courtship. 349-352 
Stardust, Hubert J. Bernhard, 300-303 
Story of Domestic Animals in America. The, George G. 

Goodwin, 403-407 
Story of the Dinosaur Eggs, The, Walter Granger, 

Illustrated. 21-26 
Stowell, Colles, 359 

Streever, Fred: Mystery Animal, 156-165 
Student Science Clubs, 450 

Talman, Charles Fitzhugh: Ice from the Thunderclouds, 
109-119 

Through India. Mr. & Mrs. F. Trubee Davison, Illus- 
trated, 211-226 

Tigers of the Sea. Col. Hugh D. Wise, Illustrated, 95-10S 

Tragedy of the Culbin Sands, The, H. Mortimer Batten, 
Illustrated, 143-148 

Vaillant, George C: Your Treasure-House of Jewels, 149- 
155, The History of the Valley of Mexico, 324-340 

Ward, William V.: The Desert Fish of Death Valley, 

134-142 
White-Lipped Peccary, Frank M. Chapman, Illustrated. 

40S-413 
William B. Whitney Tibetan-Lamaist Collection, 

Illustrated, 397-402 
Wise Hugh D.: Tigers of the Sea. 95-108, Fun with 

Sharks. 237-248, More Fun with Sharks, 311-323 
Wissler, Clark, 359 
Worlds Underground, Anna McNeil, Illustrated, 249-259 

Your Treasure-House of Jewels, George C. Vaillant, 
Illustrated, 149-155 







NATURAL 
HISTORY 



JUNE 



1936 



FIFTY CENTS 



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trated with color plates. $3.50. 

Address all orders toTHE BOOKSHOP 
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An illustration of the 
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Reprints of Dr. Frank E. Lutz's helpful ar- 
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NATURAL HISTORY 

The Magazine of the American Museum of Natural History 

VOLUME XXXVIII • * • • JUNE 1934 



Malay Tiger Cover I ' 

From a drawing by George F. Mason 

The Archer Fish in Action Frontispiece 2 

The Archer Fish Hugh M. Smith 3 

// secures its food by shooting insects with a pellet of water, and 
almost never misses its tarqct at jour feet 

Emergence of the Butterfly 12 

The Story of the Dinosaur Eggs Walter Granger 21 

One of the epic tales of scientific exploration, told by a veteran of 
more than thirty expeditions 

From Atom to Colossus E. W. Gudger 27 

Growth of the pointed-tailed ocean sunfish from one-tenth inch to ten feet — 
an increase of 60 million times its original weight 

Islands West of South America James P. Chapin 31 

Further explorations on the schooner "Zaca." — To Selkirk's Juan Fernandez, 
the rainless guano islands of Peru, and exotic Galapagos 

Perpetual Ice Under Lava John Stewart MacCIarv 56 

A natural "ice-box" in New Mexico, where the motorist can find welcome relief 
from the summer sun and an interesting scientific puzzle to solve 

A Safari with a New Objective George Crile and Daniel P. Quiring 61 

An African expedition to search for physiological explanations of temperamental 
differences in animals and new knowledge on human glandular disorders 

Outposts of Baja California Joseph R. Slevin 65 

Desert islands where a vanishing fauna is making a valiant struggle lo survive 

Memorials to Lord Grey Frank Chapman 75 

Plans to perpetuate the ideals of a man who strove for international 
harmony and a broader appreciation of Nature 

Diving Spiders Gopal Chandra Bhattacharya 77 

Intimate observations on a spider of India which submerges when frightened 
or in search of food, and preys upon fishes 

Science in the Field and in the Laboratory 82 

Reviews of New Books 87 



Publication Office: American Museum of Subscriptions. Natural History is sent to all 

Natural History, Seventy-seventh Street and members of the American Museum as one of 

Central Park West, New York, N. Y. the privileges of membership. Membership 

Editorial: Edward M. Weyer, Jr., Ph.D., Edi- Supervisor, Charles J. O'Connor. 

tor; Thomas Gordon Lawrence, M. A.; Advertis[ng: sherman p. Voorh The Araer _ 

Freder.ck L. Hahn. ican Museum of Natura[ History. 

Manuscripts should be sent to the Editor, 

The American Museum of Natural History, Copyright, 1936, by The American Museum 

New York, N. Y. of Natural History, New York, N. Y. 





Fantastic creatures usually lose their incredible 
attributes in the light of science. Here is one, 
long doubted by scientists, that becomes more 
remarkable the more we learn of it. In the 
accompanying article Doctor Smith narrates 



The Archer Fish in Action 

his personal experiences with the "blow-pipe" 
fish, and explains for the first time the appa- 
ratus which enables this strange fish to "shoot" 
its food 

NATURAL HISTORY, JUNE, 1 93 6 



The Archer Fish 



It secures its food by shooting insects with a pellet of 
water, and almost never misses its target at four feet 



By Hugh M. Smith 

Formerly Fisheries Advisor 
to the Kingdom of Siam. 

WHEN I went to Siam to study the 
remarkable fish life of the fresh and 
salt waters, one of the things I was 
most anxious to do was to make the intimate 
acquaintance of the archer fish, a creature 
which gets its living by a unique practice 
which had never been satisfactorily explained 
by scientists. 

In the eighteenth century and earlier, vague 
accounts reached Europe regarding an oriental 
fish which obtained its food, consisting of in- 
sects, by knocking them down with drops of 
water propelled from its mouth. These ac- 
counts, unsupported by reliable evidence, doubt- 
less met with a mixed reception on the part 
of zoologists and the general public; and it 
may be imagined that the scientific world of 
that day was eager to obtain authentic infor- 
mation concerning a creature whose behavior 
was so different from that of any other known 
fish. 

The earliest record 

The first definite printed reference to the 
fish in a European language seems to have 
been published in the year 1765, in the Philo- 
sophical Transactions of the Royal Society of 
London. At a meeting of the society held on 
March 15, 1764, a communication* was read 
from John Albert Schlosser, M.D., F.R.S., 



*"An Account of a Fish from Batavia, called Jaculator." 
Philosophical Transactions, Vol. LV, for the year 1764, 
p. 89-91, plate 9. 



of Amsterdam, announcing the presentation to 
the society of a specimen of the fish which, to 
quote him, "I believe hath never been observed 
by any writer on natural history." The com- 
munication carried a description of the peculiar 
habits of the fish on the authority of a Mr. 
Hommel, governor of a hospital in Batavia, 
who was also the collector of the specimen. 
Designated as "the jaculator or shooting fish, 
a name alluding to its nature,'' the creature 
was described as follows: 

It frequents the shores and sides of the sea and 
rivers, in search of food. When it spies a fly sitting 
on the plants, that grow in shallow water, it swims 
on to the distance of four, five or six feet, and then, 
with surprising dexterity, it ejects out of its tubu- 
lar mouth a single drop of water, which never 
fails striking the fly into the sea, where it soon 
becomes its prey. The relation of this uncommon 
action of this cunning fish raised the governor's 
curiosity; though it came well attested, yet he was 
determined, if possible, to be convinced of the 
truth, by ocular demonstration. For that purpose, 
he ordered a large, wide tun to be filled with sea- 
water; then had some of these caught, and put into 
it, which was changed ever)' other day. In a while, 
they seemed reconciled to their confinement; then 
he determined to try the experiment. A slender 
stick, with a fly pinned on at its end, was placed 
in such a direction, on the side of the vessel, as the 
fish could strike it. It was with inexpressible de- 
light, that he daily saw these fish exercising their 
skill in shooting at the fly with amazing dexterity, 
and never missed the mark.f 



fUnfortunately for the accuracy of the record, the fish 
to which Hommel referred and the specimen which he sent 
to London were entirely different species. Appended to the 
article was a copy of a description given in 1754 by Lin- 
naeus of a species called Chactodon rostratnm (known in 
later years as Chelmo rostratus). and the accompanying 
plate was of that fish of the coral reefs. There were thus 
precipitated the misunderstanding and doubt concerning this 
fish which lasted for nearly a century and a half. 



Important Notice to Members 
Natural History is not published during July and August. Therefore it 
will not be necessary for members to send in a change of address notice 
if they are to reside at a summer residence during these two months. 



THE ARCHER FISH 



A second article on this fish,* also contrib- 
uted by Doctor Schlosser, contained a descrip- 
tion of the fish in Mr. Hommel's own words 
and gave additional information on the fish's 
peculiar habits. 

Shooting powers denied 

During practically the whole of the nine- 
teenth century there seem to have been no 
new observations on the shooting powers attrib- 
uted to the archer fish and no confirmation of 
the statements made by Hommel in 1765 and 
1767. On the contrary, the leading authorities 
on oriental fishes denied that the fish did or 
could perform as claimed. 

Dr. Pieter Bleeker, "the most active ichthy- 
ologist that ever lived," who spent more than 
thirty-five years studying the fishes of the 
orient, was author of more than four hundred 
articles on those fishes, and was long a resi- 
dent of the same city (Batavia) as Hommel, 
was unable to verify the early accounts of the 
jaculator fish and in 1875 expressed the belief 
that it did not deserve the celebrity which had 
been imposed on it and that its reputation 
was based on an error of observation. 

Dr. Francis Day, who devoted more than a 
quarter of a century to the investigation of 
the fishes of India and Burma and published 
monumental works thereon, withheld from 
Toxotes any credit whatever for its extraor- 
dinary shooting ability and erroneously as- 
cribed to the coral-reef fish Chelmo the same 
ability. Thus, in "The Fauna of British India 
— Fishes" (1889), Day disposed of Toxotes 
in these words : 

It is stated in some works that these wide- 
mouthed fishes shoot insects with a drop of water 
in Batavia. Bleeker observed that he never wit- 
nessed this, and the action is one which the mouths 
of these fishes appear incapable of effecting. 

In an earlier article,f "On Asiatic Blowpipe 
Fishes," Day argued that Hommel's account 
could not have applied to Toxotes and could 
only have referred to Chelmo. He claimed 



•"Some further Intelligence relating to the Jaculator 
Fish." Transactions of the Philosophical Society, Vol. LVI, 
for the year 1766, p. 186-188, plate 8, fig. 6. Doctor Schlosser 
this time presented another specimen, and a description of 
it under the name Sciaena jaculatrix was given by the 
German zoologist Pallas. A poor but easily recognizable 
illustration accompanied the article. The allocation of the 
species with the sciaenid fishes, or drums, was unfortunate, 
as there is not even a remote relationship; and in 1817 
Cuvier corrected the error and established the genus Toxotes 
for the reception of the fish which has since been known as 
Toxotes jaculator. This form and five closely related species 
constitute the family Toxotidae, peculiar to the oriental 
region. 

^Zoologist, 1881, p. 91. 



that "no one, that I can ascertain, has asserted 
that Toxotes jaculator, with its deeply cleft 
mouth, was able to use it as a blowpipe," and 
said further that "personally I paid special at- 
tention to this question when investigating the 
fishes of Burma, but no fisherman had ever 
heard of this ingenuity being attributed to 
Toxotes, and which I cannot help thinking, 
with the late Doctor Bleeker, must be an 
error." 

The original source of misunderstanding, 
as disclosed by the articles in the Philosophical 
Transactions and the perpetuation of the er- 
ror by Bleeker, Day, and others, was undoubt- 
edly due in some measure to the fact that 
among the Malays both Toxotes and Chelmo 
are called by the same name, sumpit-sumpit 
(from sumpitan, a blowpipe). 

One more quotation from a reputable source 
may be given to illustrate the attitude of mind 
toward the most characteristic habit attrib- 
uted to the archer fish ; this is from a notice 
of Toxotes by the late Professor J. S. Kingsley 
appearing in the Standard Natural History 
(Vol. 3, 1885): 

One of the species has been generally credited 
with the faculty of shooting drops of water at in- 
sects on low-hanging branches and thus securing 
them for food. There does not appear to be any 
adaptation in the organization of the mouth for 
such a feat, and skepticism must be exercised in 
the acceptance of the statement made. Certainly no 
recent confirmation of the old story has been given, 
and the tradition has probably resulted from some 
misunderstanding. 

The fish comes into its own 

Although several minor notices of the habits 
of Toxotes appeared in European periodicals 
in the last two or three years of the nineteenth 
century, it was not until the twentieth century 
had dawned that this fish may be said to have 
finally come into its own. The observations of 
a Russian ichthyologist, Zolotnisky, on the 
fish in captivity definitely corroborated the es- 
sential facts of behavior as set forth in the 
earliest published accounts.^ A number of liv- 
ing specimens had been obtained in Singapore, 
and these were subjected to close scrutiny and 
experimentation, with the result that not only 
were the long-disputed habits fully established, 
but new items of behavior were noted and set 
forth. 



tZolotnisky's detailed report, "Le Poisson Archer (.Toxotes 
jaculator) en Aquarium" was issued in 1902 in Archives 
de Zoologie Experimentale et Generate. Vol. X, p. Ixxiv — 



NATURAL HISTORY, JUNE, 1 93 6 



Anions flic facts regarding Toxotes which 
were recorded hy Zolotnisky and have been 
confirmed by the present writer and other per- 
sons in Asia and America were the following : 

( i ) The fish subsists largely on insects which 
hover over the water or rest on overhanging 
vegetation. When a fish approaches within a 
certain distance of an insect, it becomes sta- 
tionary, points its head and turns its eyes di- 
rectly at the prey, brings the front of its mouth 
to the surface of the water, partly opens the 
mouth, and forthwith propels a drop, or sev- 
eral drops, of water at the insect, which ordi- 
narily is 12 to 20 inches distant, but may be 
40 inches or more. The aim is true and the 
insect falls into the water and is at once 
devoured. 

(2) The fish frequently swims backward. 
This habit is often observed when the fish 
reconnoiters a prospective prey, and backs 
from it in order to secure a good position for 
observation and attack. 

(3) The eyes sparkle with seeming intel- 
ligence and their mobility is noteworthy. They 
can be directed laterally, upward, and back- 
ward, but may not be turned downward. 

(4) Aerial vision is acute. Even small in- 
sects may be seen at a great distance and fall 
a prey to the fish's amazingly accurate aim. 

(5) Discrimination and selection are appar- 
ently exercised in the choice of food ; consider- 
able ingenuity is sometimes employed in ob- 
taining food ; and in shooting at insects the 
distance and the force are gauged. 

Doubt 

Zolotnisky 's paper was made the basis for 
a critical review of "The Archer Fish and Its 
Feats" by the erudite Dr. Theodore Gill, pub- 
lished by the Smithsonian Institution in 1909*; 
and the foregoing statement of Zolotnisky's 
observations is largely a paraphrase of Gill's 
rendering. Gill found it difficult to accept 
some of Zolotnisky's statements and in con- 
cluding his paper said : 

This summary is a true version of the article by 
Zolotnisky and will doubtless excite skepticism 
among physiologists at large as well as psychologists. 
It contravenes certain assumptions respecting the 
power and range of vision among fishes, as well as 
of the intelligence and reasoning powers of such 
lowly animals. The extent of expression assigned to 
eyes destitute of mobile surroundings and accom- 



m Smitksonian Miscellaneous Collectu 
p. 277-286. 



vol. 52, part 3, 



inodative adjustments may also be deemed to be 
exaggerated. Distinction therefore must be exer- 
i isi-d between the facts observed (or alleged to 
have been observed) and the inferences respecting 
such facts. It must be conceded, however, that fishes 
which manifest such peculiar action as the archers 
should be subjects for still more elaborate observa- 
tions and experiments. 

In recent years in America many people 
have become acquainted with the archer fish 
;ind its performances through examples in 
aquaria in New York, Philadelphia, and other 
cities; and a motion picture of a fish in action 
has been made at the New York Aquarium. 
The present generation of fish students every- 
where may be pardoned for expressing surprise 
at the protracted skepticism, and wonder at 
the failure of doubting oriental ichthyologists 
to conduct practical tests. 

How Toxotes shoots 

One searches the literature in vain for an 
explanation or suggestion as to how an archer 
fish is able to propel a drop of water with such 
force and accuracy that it can dislodge insects 
on overhanging vegetation or hit them on the 
wing. 

The doubt shown by zoologists of the last 
century in regard to the reputed shooting 
powers of the fish was partly due to their fail- 
ure to detect in the fish's mouth any special 
mechanism by which drops of water could be 
formed and expelled. 

It is, of course, obvious that there must be 
some peculiar adaptation or apparatus in Tox- 
otes to account for its extraordinary accom- 
plishment. Let this be the occasion to point 
out, for the first time, the special anatomical 
and physiological features on which the shoot- 
ing performance depends. 

By carefully watching the fish at close range 
on many occasions in Siam, I formed an opin- 
ion of the probable propelling mechanism, and 
I subsequently verified that opinion by holding 
the fish in a basin or bucket of water in 
the position regularly assumed when shooting 
and making them perform almost at will. This 
was accomplished by the quick, forceful com- 
pression of the gill covers with my fingers. I 
was able to cause a fairly satisfactory imitation 
of the normal shooting act, and had no diffi- 
culty in propelling drops of water for dis- 
tances up to three feet. 

This compression of the gill covers would 
in itself not be adequate to account for the 



THE ARCHER FISH 



escape from the mouth of water in the form 
of individual drops of uniform size; and it is 
to the peculiar shape and structure of the 
mouth parts that we must look for the addi- 
tional factors necessary for the complete and 
perfect performance. 

The mouth cavity of Toxotes is long but 
its diameter is much restricted by the project- 
ing sides of the roof and by the large tongue 
which when raised may completely close the 
passage from the outer air to the pharynx. 
The anterior part of the tongue is free from 




"Blow-pipe" of Archer Fish 

The groove-tube which enables the archer fish 
to project pellets of water from its mouth: a 
narrow slot in the roof of the mouth which is 
closed by the tongue 

the floor of the mouth, and its rounded tip is 
of paper-like thinness and fits snugly against 
the palate ; posteriorly the tongue is thick, 
bears minute teeth, and has a conspicuous 
fleshy prominence. Extending along the median 
line of the roof of the mouth, from a point 
just behind a band of vomerine teeth to the 



pharynx, are two low ridges, close together 
and parallel for most of their length, but 
slightly diverging at their posterior ends. Be- 
tween the ridges is a deep groove which, when 
the tongue is applied to the roof of the mouth, 
becomes converted into a tube. This groove- 
tube, which in a fish seven inches long is less 




When the odd shaped tongue fits against the 
roof of the mouth a slender tube is formed, 
which is less than a sixteenth of an inch in 
diameter in a fish that is seven inches long 

than a sixteenth of an inch in diameter, has 
not been previously described or referred to 
in ichthyological writings, but is readily seen 
when the tongue is depressed. That it should 
have been so long overlooked is something of 
a mystery when one recalls the vain efforts 
made by oriental ichthyologists to discover any 
special adaptation for drop-shooting. 

We are now ready to appreciate how the 
shooting fish operates. With the tongue closely 
pressed against the palate, the sudden compres- 
sion of the gill covers will force water from 
the pharynx into the palatine canal; and with 
the tip of the tongue acting as a valve, the 
flow of water under pressure from the anterior 
end of the tube is regulated. It is the obvious 
habit of the fish to coordinate the compression 
of the gill covers with the momentary lifting 
of the tongue from the anterior end of the 
tube, permitting the escape of a single drop of 
water. With the jaws partly separated and the 
mouth reaching or projecting slightly above 
the surface, the drop of water is ejected with 
a force and for a distance that depend on the 
pressure. It is easy to understand how, with 



NATURAL HISTORY, JUNE, 1 936 



the pharyngeal cavity serving as both a reser- 
voir for water ammunition and a compression 
chamber, it is possible for the fish to shoot 
drops of water in quick succession, as lias been 
frequently observed, or the water may be ex- 
pelled in the form of a jet when the valve is 
kept open longer. 

Piston 

The drop-propelling function would be use- 
less if Toxotes did not possess, in addition, the 
ability to use its eyes in the air and to gauge 
accurately the distance, size, and suitability 
for food of small creatures flying or resting 
near the water's edge. It is an outstanding 
point that, for a fish, the aerial vision of 
Toxotes is very keen ; and it was always a 
surprise to me to note the readiness with which 
insects and spiders were sighted as the fish ex- 
plored the vegetation on the bank of a pond 
or stream. 

The extent to which the fish's head projects 
at the surface of the water during the shooting 
act depends on circumstances. In muddy water 
the eyes must be at the surface in order to per- 
mit a good view and accurate aim ; in clear 
water only the tip of jaws need project. 

The chief accomplishment of the archer fish 
has been developed and is exercised in order 
to obtain living food consisting chiefly of in- 
sects. Enough has already been stated in re- 
gard to the general habit, but some definite 
references to food and feeding may be of 
interest. 

This fish, with shapely, compressed body 
propelled by its broad caudal fin, is a grace- 
ful swimmer, moving quickly without appar- 
ent effort. It regularly swims at or just below 
the surface, and may go a long distance in a 
perfectly straight line, making a wake with 
the tip of its jaws. This wake is characteristic 
and enables an observer to detect the presence 
of a fish even before he has actually seen it. 

The habit of swimming at the surface is 
ascribable to two circumstances : the food on 
which the fish chiefly subsists is obtainable 
there, and the eyes, on which the fish largely 
depends, could not otherwise function prop- 
erly, for during most of the year the waters in 
which Toxotes lives are very muddy or turbid 
and aquatic vision is much restricted. 

While Toxotes prefers the live food which 
it shoots for itself, it regularly eats shrimps, 
insect larvae, and other creatures living in the 



water and insects that ha\e fallen into the 
water. A large nest of carpenter arm impaled 
on a stake in a pond provided food tor lish 
for several days as the ants fell into the water 
and were eagerly devoured. Under both semi- 
domesticated and wild conditions the fish does 
not reject bits of raw and cooked me 
crabs and prawns; specimens which I had in a 
pond regularly came to be fed on raw chopped 
pork and fish. 

In Siam, Toxotes is often sought by anglers, 
who use a light rod and line, armed with a 
small hook baited with a shrimp or insect. 
Favorite resorts for the fish — and hence for 
anglers — are the inlets and outlets of canals, 
near locks. A person in a small boat, casting 
his hook well away from the boat and doing 
nothing to frighten the fish, may often catch 
many at one place. The food value of the fish 
is high. 

Toxotes versus a lizard 

Once, in Bangkok, I saw a baby lizard, sun- 
ning itself on a vertical timber of a dock a 
few inches above the water, dislodged by a 
surprise shot of a Toxotes operating at point- 
blank range. As the lizard fell it was promptly 
grasped, but there may be doubt whether it 
was actually consumed. The cavity of this 
fish's mouth is too narrow and the sides are 
too rigid to permit the passage of a large mass 
of food ; and it is apparent that seized insects 
and other food must first be reduced to a 
slender bolus between the tongue and the va- 
rious bands of minute teeth on the roof of the 
mouth before swallowing is possible. 

Some of the standard modern works of ref- 
erence and text-books make inadequate or mis- 
leading allusion to the exercise of the shooting 
power. Thus, when the Cambridge Natural 
History states that "Toxotes jaculator derives 
its name from its habit of capturing insects 
flying over the surface of the water by shoot- 
ing drops of water at them," it overlooks the 
much more common and characteristic habit of 
stalking insects that are resting on plants in 
the water or at the water's edge. In reality, 
insects shot on the wing represent a very small 
percentage of the total food intake. In Siam, 
Toxotes was very rarely noticed in pursuit of 
flying insects. On the few occasions when I 
observed this habit there had been an irrup- 
tion of winged termites and the fish were very 
active in chasing the low-flying insects across 



THE ARCHER FISH 



a pond or water-course and directing a perfect 
barrage of shots if necessary to bring down 
the prey. 

In "The Biology of Fishes" (1926), the 
author, H. M. Kyle, observed that "the taste 
for flies has become so great that one fish 
has developed into an expert sharp-shooter in 
stalking and smothering flies — with a drop of 
water and mucus." If "flies" can be inter- 
preted as including ants, bees, termites, grass- 
hoppers, moths, caterpillars, dragon-flies, 
beetles, cockroaches, ephemerids and many 
other kinds of insects, as well as spiders, the 
statement is correct with the exception that in- 
sects are not smothered and there is no mucus 
in the watery pellet. 

Marksmanship 

The range, accuracy, and force of the 
shooting powers of Toxotes always excite sur- 
prise and admiration. In my experience in 
Siam the distance within which the fish could 
always be depended on to score a direct hit 
was three and a half to four feet. A much 
longer effective range has been recorded. Two 
fishes in the New York Aquarium could with- 
out difficulty hit a small cockroach at a mea- 
sured height of five feet above the water. 

Failure to hit a resting insect within proper 
range may be due to movements of the vege- 
tation or, in the case of a spider dangling on 
a thread, to swaying caused by wind. When 
the first shot misses a mark, other shots usu- 
ally follow in quick succession. 

The force with which the watery pellets 
may strike an object is sometimes most aston- 
ishing to a human observer. An insect may be 
knocked high in the air or may fall on the 
bank beyond a fish's reach. At short range the 
drops may strike a person's face with a dis- 
tinctly stinging sensation. On many occasions, 
during exhibitions in Siam, a spider at the 
end of a thread hanging from the end of a pole 
was knocked far up on the thread or even 
over the pole. Spent shots could be heard to 
splash against the roof of a veranda over the 
water. 

The shooting habit begins to develop early 
and may be observed in fish only an inch long. 
It it most amusing to see the inexperienced 
youngsters emulating the actions of their par- 
ents and sending out tiny drops which may go 
only two or three inches. In half-grown fish 
the habit is well developed, but the highest 



expression of the shooting powers as regards 
accuracy, force, and range is to be seen only 
in the fully matured fish. 

A peculiar feeding trait was exhibited by 
both river fish and pond fish in Siam when a 
spider on a thread was lowered to within 
about one foot of the surface of the water. A 
fish, which may have been shooting at the 
spider when it was two or three feet distant, 
would with little apparent effort rise vertically 
from the water and seize the lure in its mouth, 
sometimes holding on when the line was raised 
several feet. This was done so readily and regu- 
larly as to suggest a normal habit, although 
as a matter of fact I never saw it tried on 
insects hovering near the surface or resting on 
plants. Probably spiders and caterpillars hang- 
ing from their threads are the principal vic- 
tims of this method of attack. 

The writer's acquaintance with this fish 
was formed in the Philippines, French Indo- 
china, Siam, Malaya, Burma, and India, but 
chiefly in Siam where it is common over most 
of the country and is called pla sua, or tiger 
fish, in allusion to the black crossbands on the 
yellow sides. Wild fish planted in a large pond 
in the compound of my residence in Bangkok 
were under close observation for a number 
of years, and were a source of pleasure and 
instruction to myself and many foreign visi- 
tors and residents. 

Intelligence 

Among all the oriental fresh-water fishes 
with which I am acquainted in the wild state, 
none gives such an impression of intelligence 
and efficiency as does Toxotes. This impres- 
sion grows on an observer as he notes the pur- 
poseful way in which a fish moves about in a 
stream, canal, or pond ; the zeal and thor- 
oughness with which it explores aquatic and 
overhanging land plants for insects; the high 
development of its sense of sight in both air 
and water; the skill displayed in dislodging 
insects and seizing them as they fall into the 
water; the alertness in avoiding danger; and 
the readiness in adapting itself to life in small 
ponds and responding to the attentions of per- 
sons who provide food. 

For the amusement of guests 

A friend of mine, a distinguished scion of 
the royal family of Siam, and an ardent stu- 
dent of fishes, had a residence on the broad 



NATURAL HISTORY, JUNE, 1 936 



Mcnam Chao Pliya above Bangkok and used 
to entertain American and European guests 
with shooting-fish performances. A veranda cm 
which he took many of his meals was directly 
over the water, and under it Toxotes could 
be found almost daily, attracted by scraps of 
fish, meat, chicken, and prawn which were 
regularly thrown from the table. By means of 
a spider or cricket dangled on a black thread 
from the end of a short bamboo pole, the 
shooting fish could readily be induced to dis- 
play their marksmanship, and scores of for- 
eign visitors, during the years I passed in 
Siam, were thus edified and amused. It was 



there that I sometimes saw spent watery pel- 
lets splash on the ceiling of the veranda ten 
to twelve feel above the river, and m 
many other exhibitions which confirmed my 
respect for the intelligence and skill of 
Toxotes. 

Carrying it too fat 

On two occasions to mj personal knowledge, 

when my friend sat on the veranda eating his 
breakfast, reading a newspaper, smoking a 
cigaret, and apparent!) neglectful of his fish 
wards, his attention was attracted by well- 
directed shots which extinguished his cigaret. 




Skeleton of Archer Fish (After Agassiz) 



THE ARCHER FISH 



The Archer Fish 



This curious fish makes its living by shooting insects with 
a drop or a short jet of water. Its aim is extremely accurate 
up to five feet, and if the drops strike one in the face at short 
range they produce a distinct stinging sensation. Shots that 
go wild carry ten to twelve feet. When maneuvering for a 
good position from which to "open fire" the fish frequently 
swi?ns backivards ; and its eyes, which are movable, sparkle 
with seeming intelligence. {It cannot definitely be stated that 
the specimen shown in these photographs is Toxotes jaculator, 
the species commonly referred to.) 




// the archer fish cannot get 
its prey in any other way, it 
u'ill rise from the water and 
seize the insect in its mouth 



An insect may be 
knocked high in 
the air, or may 
fall on the bank 
out of reach 




The author of the preceding 
article states that on at least 
two occasions to his knowledge 
a friend of his in Siam was sit- 
ting on his veranda beside a 
pool of archer fish, reading his 
neivspaper and smoking an 
after-breakfast cigaret, when his 
attention was attracted by ivell- 
directed shots which extin- 
guished his cigaret 



tion photos by Pathe 



THE ARCHER FISH 



Emergence of the Butterfly 



In the following series of photographs 
the camera has enlarged the various 
stages in the development from the ma- 
ture caterpillar to the adult butterfly. Al- 
though we show here the transition of a 
common European swallow-tail (Papilio 



machaon), the same changes take place 
in all butterflies. (The photographs em- 
ploy more than one specimen to com- 
plete the sequence, but so regular is 
Nature that the substitution can scarcely 
be detected.) 




NATURAL HISTORY, JUNE, 1 936 




Photographs by Croy, from Black Star 



(Left) The caterpillar has spent its time 
busily eating and has grown up enough 
to think of becoming a butterfly. It fas- 
tens itself by its tail to a plant by means 
of self-spun threads and thoughtfully 
provides a belt of the same material 
which is to prevent the pupa from chang- 



ing its position. The actual length of the 
caterpillar is about an inch and a half 

(Above) Shortly afterward the skin of 
the caterpillar splits open and the pupa 
emerges. Its shell is still soft and re- 
sembles the shape of the caterpillar 



EMERGENCE OF THE BUTTERFLY 



13 




The pupa has acquired a hard shell which 
protects the soft interior where the change 
takes place. During this stage, that is so 
frequently referred to as the resting stage, 



all the internal organs of the caterpillar 
break down into a uniform liquid mass 
and then reform in the shape of a butter- 
fly containing all the essential organs 



14 



NATURAL HISTORY, JUNE, 1 936 




(Above) When the changes within the pattern of its wings are already discern- 
pupa are complete the hard shell hursts ible through the shell 
and the butterfly begins to emerge. The 



EMERGENCE OF THE BUTTERFLY 



15 




{Above) The head piece is dropped and 
the butterfly sees daylight again in a 
new form 
{Right) the butterfly is now freed, but 



16 



NATURAL HISTORY, JUNE, 1 936 




its wings are still soft little sacs of scale- 
covered membrane. These wing pads will 
be stretched to full size by the pumping 
of fluid into them 



EMERGENCE OF THE BUTTERFLY 



'7 




{Above) The wings blossom out quickly. 
From the time when the butterfly/ began 
to break out of the chrysalis until it has 



emerged and its wings are fully spread 
although not hardened is a matter of only 
twenty or thirty minutes 
(Right) Before flight is possible the 



18 



NATURAL HISTORY, JUNE, 1 936 




■ 



wings must harden. They flutter spas- 
modically, probably hastening this process 
by increasing the rate of evaporation. 
The rate of hardening of the ivings de- 



pends upon many conditions, including 
the size of the butterfly and humidity. 
Some small butterflies emerge and are 
able to fly in as little as ten minutes 



EMERGENCE OF THE BUTTERFLY 



19 




The butterfly is fully developed, even 
the long tails of the wings are fully 
grown. It is a light yelloiv creature ivith 



black markings, and appears considerably 
larger than the inch and a half chrysalis 
from which it emerged 



NATURAL HISTORY, JUNE, 1 93 6 



The Story of the Dinosaur Eggs 

One of the epic tales of scientific exploration, told by a 
veteran of more than thirty expeditions 



By Walter Granger 



There has recently been installed in the 
Mongolian exhibit at the Museum a 
group representing Protoceratops, the 
small hornless member of the horned dinosaur 
group, together with its nest of eggs. The two 
skeletons shown are real ; the eggs are casts of 
a model made from a careful study of the 
Museum's collection of fifty more or less com- 
plete eggs, and they have been arranged in ex- 
actly the manner in which they occurred in one 
of the several nests discovered. 

Behind the scenes 

The finding of these dinosaur eggs has been 
told many times but it is an interesting story 
and will, perhaps, bear repetition at this time. 

When the Central Asiatic Expedition first 
entered the Gobi, in 1922, it was not known 
definitely that dinosaurs laid eggs. Reptiles of 
today have both oviparous and viviparous 
methods of reproduction — even with closely 
related species of snakes some lay eggs and 
others bring forth living young, and it was 
supposed that since dinosaurs are reptiles, some 
of them, at least, might have laid eggs, al- 
though none had ever been found. At Rognac 
in southern France some fragments of what 
seemed to be reptilian egg shells were found in 
strata bearing dinosaur bones and there is a 
possibility that these are really bits of dinosaur 
eggs, but they may also belong to other con- 
temporary reptiles. In North America, where 
dinosaurs flourished as nowhere else in the 
world and where their bones, their gizzard 
stones, their tracks and their toothmarks 
abound, not a trace of their eggs had ever 
come to light. 



I presume that nearly every American col- 
lector of dinosaurs has been on the lookout for 
their eggs and has hoped that some day he 
might find one, or better still, a nest of them. 
I know that many times during the years 1 
worked the dinosaur fields I visualized such a 
happening but as the years went on it began to 
seem such a remote possibility that it finalh 
took its place as another futile day dream. In 
1923, however, in the very heart of Mongolia, 
hundreds of miles from the nearest civilized 
community, this dream became a reality and 
we did find dinosaur eggs — not only single 
eggs but a whole nest of them, lying very much 
as the parent had left them seventy-five or 
more millions of years ago. 

First dinosaur egg 

The first discovery of these eggs came the 
year previous in 1922. On our way back to 
China in the autumn our party was passing 
near this locality, although not in actual sight 
of it, and the motor cars had been halted on 
the caravan trail to wait while the scout car 
ran off to the side to inquire the way at a 
Mongol village which we could see two or 
three miles distant. Taking advantage of this 
delay Mr. Shackelford, a photographer by pro- 
fession but a fossil hunter by instinct, wan- 
dered off over the desert and soon came to the 
edge of the platform on which we had been 
traveling. He found that its face dropped off 
abruptly into a set of brick-red badlands, just 
the sort of place in which one learns to look 
for fossils. Climbing down into these rich- 
looking exposures, Shackelford was immedi- 
ately confronted by a well preserved but some- 
what weathered fossil skull with the jaws still 
attached and resting on a buttress of red sand- 
stone. It was a simple matter for him to break 



THE STORY OF THE DINOSAUR EGOS 



the skull loose and he took it immediately back 
to the cars. It was identified at once as the 
skull of a reptile but its exact affinities were 
not determined until it was prepared in the 
Museum laboratory many months later. 

This discovery seemed an important one to 
us and we decided to go into camp nearby 
and spend the remaining two hours of daylight 
in prospecting the locality. This prospecting 
resulted in the finding of many fragmentary 
remains of the same kind of animal. There 
was also picked up on the surface of the bad- 
lands a fragmentary and badly weathered egg 
shell which at the time was thought to be that 
of a bird, the eggs of which, although not 
common, are not really rare as fossils. 

Later, when the bones collected that evening 
were determined at the Museum as belonging 
to a small member of the horned dinosaurs, it 
became evident that this badly broken and in- 
significant looking egg shell was actually the 
first positive dinosaur egg to be discovered. 

Protoceratops andrewsi 

The following year, realizing the full im- 
portance of these finds, we spent two months 
in scouring the area, named by us the Flaming 
Cliffs, with a large force of collectors, and 
we succeeded in obtaining several skeletons and 
more than fifty skulls of the little dinosaur 
which had already received the name of 
Protoceratops andrewsi. Of its eggs there were 
found many individual specimens mostly 
weathered out and lying on the surface, rem- 
nants of two or three nests where the erosion 
had left us only a small part of the original 
"clutch" of eggs and one nest where the ero- 
sion had only begun to make inroads and the 
greater part of the nest with no less than fif- 
teen eggs was still intact. That was a great sea- 
son for dinosaur eggs and while the scientific 
importance of the discovery was perhaps not so 
great as other discoveries made that year it did 
meet at once with popular fancy and did more 
than anything else to give the Central Asiatic 
Expedition public recognition the world over. 

It may properly be asked, how do we know 
these are dinosaur eggs and how do we know 
they belong to this particular type of dinosaur 
known as Protoceratops? The answer is this: 
In the very limited area of Upper Cretaceous 
exposures at Flaming Cliffs extending along 
the face of the tableland for five or six miles 



we found upwards of fifty more or less com- 
plete eggs and thousands of egg shell frag- 
ments representing at least several hundred 
more eggs. They were to be found everywhere 
from one end of the exposures to the other and 
throughout the one hundred and fifty feet 
thickness of the deposit. Protoceratops was also 
very common and its bones were everywhere, 
frequently in close association with the egg 
shells. There were a few other types of 
dinosaurs found there but they were very rare 
and of types too small and delicate to have laid 
any but the smallest eggs found. Reptiles, 
other than dinosaurs found in the deposit, are 
a single tiny crocodile and a few small aquatic 
turtles — both out of the question as possible 
parents of the eggs. 

It seems reasonable, therefore, to assume 
that the greater number of these eggs belong 
to Protoceratops. The eggs are of the right 
size, they have been found in close association 
and there are no other animals of this fauna, 
so far as known, to which they could properly 
be attributed. 

The eggs which we have assigned to this 
diminutive ceratopsian vary from five to eight 
inches in length. In shape they are long ovate, 
an unusual shape for modern reptile eggs 
which are usually oval or spherical. The eggs 
are smooth at either end but the rest of the 
surface is covered with a fine irregular wrin- 
kling as seen in the photograph of the single 
egg. The shells were undoubtedly brittle be- 
cause all show more or less cracking which 
would hardly have been the case if they had 
been leathery, as some reptile's eggs are. In 
all cases the egg shells are filled with the same 
material in which they are embedded — fine- 
grained sand which had evidently filtered in 
after the shells became cracked, and had re- 
placed the soft contents of the shell. 

Why Outer Mongolia? 

The question naturally arises as to why 
dinosaur eggs should be found in abundance 
in one restricted area in Outer Mongolia and 
nowhere else in the world, barring possibly 
the fragments of shells from France and a 
few other fragments recently discovered by 
Princeton parties in northern Wyoming. The 
only satisfactory explanation is to be found in 
the nature of the strata in which these Mon- 
golian eggs occur. The deposit is a uniform, 



NATURAL HISTORY, JUNE, 1 936 



brick-red, fine-grained sandstone, so soft thai 
it can easily be dun away with the finger nail. 
The geologists assured us that it was an aeo- 
lian deposit: that is, one laid down as wind- 
blown sand. At the time Protoceratops lived 
there it was evidently an area of drifting sand 
with probably a few small streams or ponds as 
indicated by the presence of the crocodile and 
the aquatic turtles. This then would account 
not only for the deposition of the eggs hut for 
their preservation during the subsequent mil- 
lions of years. 

ligys laid in circles 

Sea turtles, of our time, come out of the 
water at night, climb up above high tide and 
there deposit their eggs in a pit in the sand and 
then after covering them carefully return to 
the sea, leaving the eggs to hatch by the heat of 
the sun. And so it is not difficult to visualize 
the female Protoceratops coming into the sand 
dune area, digging a pit and there depositing 
her twenty to thirty eggs at one time, covering 
them up and allowing the warmth of the sun 
to incubate them. 

If one may judge from the several nests 
found, the arrangement of the eggs in the nest 
was always the same. They were in circles 
with the large ends up and tilted toward the 
center. In the case of the most complete nest 
discovered — the one used as a model for the 
group — there were five eggs in the lowermost 
circle and slightly above this was a much 
larger circle of eleven eggs. Still higher were 
the tips of two eggs indicating that there had 
been a third circle which if complete would 
have comprised about twenty eggs. The erosion 
of recent time, however, which had already re- 
moved the hundred or more feet of overlying 



sandstone, bad reached tin- ncsl before tin- 
fossil collector came along and had sheared ott 
rhe upper ends of most of the eggs and had 
very probablj removed entirelj all but two 
ot the eggs of the uppermost circle. At any 
rate there were eighteen eggs represented and 
it is not unlikel) that the nest originally con- 
tained thirtj or more eggs. In another nest the 
erosion, working on a vertical face, had cut 
awa\ just half of the eggs leaving fifteen still 
in the bank. 

The order!} arrangement of the eggs in the 
nests may have been brought about b\ adjust- 
ment with the front feet or the beak, but it 
seems more reasonable to suppose that the 
female simply rotated her body a-, the eggs 
were deposited. The shape of the pit, being 
smaller at the bottom, would, of course, auto- 
matically regulate the diameter of the various 
circles of eggs. 

75,000,000 years later 

Obviously none of the complete eggs found 
had hatched, although two isolated eggs picked 
up on the surface do show what appear to be 
traces of highly developed embryos. It is quite 
possible that there may have been a sudden ac- 
cumulation of drifting sand on top of the nest, 
which, if not sufficient to crush the eggs, would 
at least have cut off the heat of the sun and 
so stopped incubation, or there may have been 
other reasons which we cannot readily con- 
ceive. Whatever the reasons are, however, 
we are grateful for them because these par- 
ticular nests, failures in the eyes of nature, 
have been handed down through seventy-five 
million years of geologic time to assist us ma- 
terially in interpreting the life of that time 
and place. 




Baby dinosaurs emerging from the eggs 

Drawing by John C. Germann from model by Mrs. E. Rungius Fulda 



THE STORY OF THE DINOSAUR EGGS 



23 



The Story of the 








(Above) The first dinosaur nest discovered. 
One-half of the original nest of about thirty 
eggs was found under the sandstone mound; 
the other half had been eroded away but the 
eggs seen in the foreground had resisted the 
disintegrating process 




24 



(Left) The underside of a nearly complete 
nest with the eggs still in position but 
worked out in high relief. Note an inner 
circle of five eggs and an outer circle of 
eleven eggs with the remnants of a third 
circle 

NATURAL HISTORY, JUNE, 1 936 



Dinosaur Eggs 




(Above) J5 million years old. Filled with a 
fine-grain sand in which it was embedded^ this 
egg, smooth on both ends, has the rest of its 
surface covered with a fine irregular wrinkling 



(Beloiv) The newly installed Protoceratops 
group. The skeleton in the background was 
prepared and mounted by the late Peter C. 
Kaisen ; the other skeleton was mounted by- 
Charles J. Lang who also assembled the group 




THE STORY OF THE DINOSAUR EGGS 



2 5 




Pliotograph by courtesy of 
A. Vedel Tailing 



{Above) The i/lO inch larva of the pointed- 
tailed ocean sunfish: a speck of living matter 
from which the ten-foot colossus of the sea 
shown below developed. The tiny larva is a 
free swimming creature, able to find its own 



food. The comparisons which the author of the 
interesting article opposite draws, gives this 
fish a good claim to the title of growth-cham- 
pion among animals 



Photograph by courtesy of 
George Reddington 




26 



NATURAL HISTORY, JUNE, 1 936 



From Atom to Colossus 



Growth of the pointed-tailed ocean sunfish from one-tenth 
inch to ten feet, — an increase of 60,000,000 times its original 
weight 



By E. W. GUDGER 

Associate Curator of Fishes, 
American Museum 

THE attention of New Yorkers in par- 
ticular and of the readers of the metro- 
politan press in general has recently 
been called to the birth of a little bear cub in 
the Brooklyn "Zoo." This small chap was 
about 6 inches long and weighed 12 ounces. 
The mother probably measured 5 J/2 feet from 
snout-point to tail-tip, and weighed about 200 
pounds — these being the sizes for an average 
female bear. 

Comparison among mammals 

It has been estimated that a cub ordinarily 
equals about one two-hundredth of the weight 
of the mother bear ; a puppy about one twenty- 
fifth as much as the mother ; and a human 
baby about one-twentieth. In all these cases 
there is great discrepancy in size between baby 
and mother, but greatest in the bears. 

This infantile descendant of the genus 
Ursus was in the course of nature born blind 
and hairless, and looking very unlike the bear 
he will grow up to be. Hence the fiction that 
the mother "licks the cub into shape" — a say- 
ing which by extension has come to be applied 
in a figurative sense to the young of the genus 
Homo. 

The little cub referred to (and he was not 
only a cub but he was little) was taken from 
his mother and at first fed with a medicine 
dropper. Later, when he had grown a bit, he 
appeared in the news-reels as a bottle-fed baby 
who made strenuous remarks when his bottle 
was not forthcoming. 

Most large animals give birth to large 
young, and contrariwise most small ones to 



small young — 'whether mammals or fish. But 
before considering the most unusual case in the 
fishes, and perhaps the most extraordinary in 
the animal kingdom, let us turn for a moment 
to a most interesting land-dwelling mother and 
baby, the difference in whose sizes is very great. 

The contrast between the just-born kan- 
garoolet and the mother is tremendous — in 
fact it is probably greater than that in any 
other land-living animal. The average mother 
kangaroo is three feet from crown of head to 
root of tail, while the baby, or "Joey" that is 
to be, has a similar measurement of about an 
inch. The mother weighs about 100 pounds 
( 1600 ounces) , the infant a mere fraction of an 
ounce. The young kangaroo is born in a con- 
dition even more unformed and more unlike 
the mother than is the baby bear. This in part 
at least accounts for the great disparity in size 
of mother kangaroo and her kangaroolet. 

But great as is the contrast between the 
just-born kangaroo infant and the adult into 
which it will grow, a far greater difference is 
now to be considered — probably the greatest 
for any member of the animal kingdom living 
today. I refer to the contrast in the ocean sun- 
fishes — young and adult. 

The ocean sunfishes 

To many of my readers the name sunfish 
calls to memory the little short-bodied perch- 
like fish of our fresh-water lakes and streams. 
These lovely little fishes are of at least half 
a dozen kinds and are perhaps our most com- 
mon fishes angled for by every boy. But the 
pointed-tailed ocean fellow is not only a sea- 
dweller but is infinitely smaller when he is 
small and vastly larger when he is large — as 
we shall see. 



FROM ATOM TO COLOSSUS 



27 



The ocean sunfishes are millstone-shaped 
fishes and for that reason have been given the 
family name Molidae. Two of them, Mola 
and Masturus, grow to a size in which length 
(over the tail-fin) and depth (over the dorsal 
and anal fins) amount each to more than 10 
feet, and they attain to a weight of from one- 
half to three-quarters of a ton. They are the 
largest fishes with the smallest eggs and littlest 
babies known to me. Yet it must be noted that, 
unlike baby bears and kangaroos, their micro- 
scopic young when hatched out of the floating 
eggs are born into the waste of waters able to 
seek and find their own food — to fend for 
themselves. 

The smallest pointed-tail 

Among the treasures gathered, by the Dan- 
ish "Dana" Expedition of 1920, from the 
Sargasso Sea, that great "dead water" of the 
North Atlantic Ocean, is the smallest pointed- 
tail ever recorded. This we owe to that master 
deep-sea oceanographer and ichthyologist, the 
late Johannes Schmidt of the Marinbiologisk 
Laboratorium in Copenhagen. 

The little fish shown in the figure is only 
about one-tenth of an inch long. The illustra- 
tion is made from a photograph obtained by 
placing the tiny fish under a microscope. On 
the printed page, the fishlet is enlarged 10 
times. It is what ichthyologists call a larval 
fish — that is, one quite unlike the adult, and 
which must undergo some extensive trans- 
formations in the course of its life history in 
order to become an adult. 

To get an idea how tremendously small 
(the phrase is justified) this little fish really 
is, let the reader get out a foot-rule and look 
at an inch-space marked on this. This inch will 
be divided into both eighths and sixteenths. 
The little fish shown in the figure is larger 
than one-sixteenth but smaller than one-eighth 
of an inch. In fact it is about the size of a 
capital O in this type. It is the smallest free- 
swimming larva of any large fish known to 
me. It controverts the general rule that large 
animals have large eggs and young. 

Our fish are called pointed-tails, but it is 
clear that there is nothing pointed in the tail 
of the microscopic larva. The dorsal and anal 
fins are very like those of the adult, but, in- 
stead of the central spade-shaped lobe of the 
colossus in the figure, in the baby the body 



ends like that of an ordinary young bony fish 
— in a stout stump with a paddle-shaped fin 
on the end. 

But our pointed-tailed fish is not an ordi- 
nary fish, and in size and form the tails in the 
two ages are as far apart as the antipodes and 
as unlike as are the sizes and shapes of the two 
fish. The tale of how the tail of the little sunfish 
disappears and how the great and unwieldy 
tail-end of the adult Masturus comes into be- 
ing, a tail-structure found in no group of fishes 
save the Molidae, or mill-stone fishes, is indeed 
"another story" which will be told in a tech- 
nical article in another place. 

The giant of the tribe of Masturus of the 
whole world is shown in the large photograph. 
For this photograph I am indebted to Mr. 
George Reddington of St. Augustine, Florida, 
in whose "Museum of Marine Curiosities" on 
Anastasia Island the fish is on exhibition. The 
readers of Natural History who go to Florida 
may at any time see it there. 

The colossus 

This colossus among pointed-tails came 
ashore at St. Augustine Beach in 1912. There 
is today no definite record of its measurements, 
but Mr. Reddington has it that it was over 
10 feet in length to the tip of the caudal 
"spade" as some call it, and 1 1 feet 3 inches 
deep over the great dorsal and anal fins. One 
can well believe this by comparing the height 
of the standing man with that of the fish. 
Today, after 24 years of drying and shrinking, 
the mounted fish measures 8 feet long and 9 
feet 7 inches deep. 

When fresh, this gigantic creature was too 
heavy and too unwieldy to be hoisted for 
weighing, but its weight was estimated at 
about 1700 pounds. This is probably too high 
a figure. But judging by my records of some- 
what smaller specimens which were weighed, 
it seems likely that this great fish must surely 
have tipped the scales at over 1200 pounds. It 
is the largest and heaviest pointed-tail on rec- 
ord, a veritable giant. 

Lest anyone think that this fish was a freak 
in size, it may be of interest to note that the 
next largest on record (also a Florida speci- 
men, captured in a net off Daytona Beach in 
April, 193 1 ) measured 8 feet 4 inches in 
length and the total depth was 8 feet 9 inches. 
Its great tail-fin, measured from the body 



; 

\ 



28 



NATURAL HISTORY, JUNE, 1 936 



A Chart of Ratios to Show ky Comparison with Other Living Creatures 
the Phenomenal Growth of the Larva of the Pointeo-T ulbd Ocean SuNfisn 




It. 

Mother 



A 150-lb. 
Rowboat 



(3000 lb§.) 



£lkl Puppy 

- At Birth 



Its 

Mother 



A 150-lb. 
Rowboat 



A Filing Launch 



(3750 lbs.) 



A 36-ft. Cruiser 




A 

Cub 

At Birth 



Its 
Mother 



A 150-lb. 
Rowboat 




(30,000 lbs.) 



An Ocean-Going Tug 




A 

"Joey" 
At Birth 



Its 

Mother 



A 150-lb. 
Rowboat 




(240,000 lbs.) 




Its 

Mother 



A 150-lb. 
Rowboat 



60 Queen Marys 



(The Queen Mary's 
Tonnage 80,773) 



FROM ATOM TO COLOSSUS 



20 



proper to the tip, was 2 feet 2 inches long. 
The lower side of the tail-lobe had suffered 
mutilation. 

As the figure shows, the St. Augustine giant 
has a short rounded caudal lobe which has evi- 
dently been abbreviated. Examination of all 
published figures shows that almost all re- 
corded adult specimens of this fish have muti- 
lated tails. These sluggish and defenseless fish 
are readily attacked by sharks and barracudas, 
and the caudal lobe is the part most vulnerable 
and most often mutilated. Attention is called 
to the spots found on the great tail-fin. In al- 
most all perfectly fresh specimens of the adult 
Masturus the body also is more or less covered 
with spots. 

The egg 

The reader has seen from what a micro- 
scopic larva (only about one-tenth of an inch 
long) our io-foot colossus of the pointed- 
tailed tribe has grown. It would be interesting 
to know the size of the egg from which the 
larva of Masturus has developed. So far as I 
know no figure of such an egg has ever been 
published. But Johannes Schmidt has figured 
the egg of the first cousin of the pointed-tail, 
that of the truncate-tailed sunfish. This, shown 
in the annexed figure, was about one-twentieth 
of an inch in diameter — about half the size of 
a small letter o of this type. The fishlet which 
Schmidt hatched from this egg, when in the 
same stage of its life-history as our little fish, 
was practically of the same size and make-up 
as ours. I know of no other large fish which 
lays an egg anything like so small as this. 



From all this it can be judged that the 10- 
foot colossus, shown in the large figure, de- 




The egg of the truncate-tailed ocean sunfish, a 
cousin of the pointed-tailed fellow which grows 
so large. The natural size of this egg is about 
I /20th of an inch in diameter. Here it is en- 
larged about 20 times. 
(After Johannes Schmidt) 



veloped from an egg about one-twentieth of an 
inch in diameter. What a prodigious amount 
of eating our great fish must have done! What 
its food is we do not surely know. This was 
long thought to consist of marine algae, but 
now the fish is known to feed in part upon the 
small transparent paper-thin larvae of the eel. 
But these are very small and likewise few and 
far between in the vast ocean. Masturus is, 
along with its cousins Mola and Ranzania, 
just about the poorest swimmer in the seven 
seas. Where and how it can find the larger and 
more abundant food out of which to develop 
its huge bulk, is one of the unsolved problems 
of the piscine world. With Shakespeare we 
may surely ask "Upon what meat hath this our 
Caesar fed that he hath grown so great?" 




A jJ4 inch sunfish: a mid-way specimen which 
helped scientists to identify the "atom" as the 
offspring of the "colossus." Most such speci- 
mens are found in the stomachs of predatory 
fish; this one came from a kingfish in the mid- 
dle of the South Pacific 
(After Giinther) 



30 



NATURAL HISTORY, JUNE, 1 936 



Islands West of South America 

Further explorations on the schooner " Zaca." — To Sel- 
kirk's Juan Fernandez, the rainless guano islands of Peru, and 
exotic Galapagos 



By James P. Chapin 

Associate Curator, Continental Old World Birds, 
American Museum 

OFF the coast of Central Chile, a little 
more than four hundred miles out, lie 
the Juan Fernandez Islands. The 
"Zaca," on her return from Easter Island, 1 
had over fourteen hundred miles of ocean to 
cross before reaching Mas Afuera, the outer 
island of the group. With the good weather 
we now enjoyed, this was a voyage of ten days. 
Various occupations made them pass pleasantly. 
A few birds in the ice-box still had to be 
skinned. We could watch the sailors as they 
fished from the bow for bonitos, small cousins 
of the tuna, which swam abreast of the ship. 
Jaques and I could always scan the water for 
birds, seeing petrels of several species, an occa- 
sional red-tailed tropic bird, or a solitary gray 
noddy. We even hoped to see an albatross, but 
it soon became evident that they remain well 
to the south of the 30th parallel, except in the 
cold waters close to the South American coast. 
Our last red-tailed tropic-bird, characteristic 
Polynesian species, was noted about 440 miles 
west of Mas Afuera. From there on we were 
in American waters. 

Landfall 

The morning we approached Mas Afuera 
its high southern extremity, rising to some 
5400 feet, was capped with clouds. Here was 
an island as precipitous as any of the Marque- 
sas, with gray cliffs and grassy taluses, where 
numbers of goats could be seen grazing. The 
upper levels on the mountains showed a good 

1 This is the third and concluding article by Doctor 
Chapin, describing the Templeton Crocker Expedition to 
the South Pacific. Previous articles appeared in Natural 
History for November, 1935, and April, 1936. 



deal of green bushy growth, but could scarcely 
be called well wooded, and the shores of the 
island seemed rather dry. 

Its whole length is only eight miles, and we 
were soon anchored off the east side, opposite 
the old penal colony, abandoned some five 
years previous. I could not help contrasting our 
enthusiastic visit of a day with the enforced 
residence of those who had occupied the ten 
low buildings we found marked as offices, 
workshops, and calabozos. The headquarters 
of the carabineros suggested that the guardians 
may not have been much happier than the 
prisoners. 

In such a place enthusiasm must vary in- 
versely as the length of sojourn. In my case 
the only anxiety was to see as much as pos- 
sible in so short a time. We knew that petrels 
must nest in burrows up on the mountains, and 
that there were several land birds: a large 
hawk, a hummingbird, a brown thrush, and 
two small brown birds of other South Ameri- 
can families. 

Island hawks 

The hawks did not keep us waiting. Before 
we reached the landing-place two of them 
were seen flying about a large pine tree planted 
close to the buildings. Several more were found 
later, and although Buteo polyosoma is related 
to our North American red-tailed hawk, its 
representatives on Mas Afuera had no great 
fear of man. 

Back of the penal colony a narrow valley, or 
rather a great gorge, extended inland. The 
brook in it had dried up to a series of stagnant 
pools, and about the rocks along it lived Cin- 
clodes oustaleti, thrush-like in appearance but 



ISLANDS WEST OF SOUTH AMERICA 



31 



belonging near the oven-birds. Jaques and 
Doctor Lyman offered to cover this valley, 
while with Jack, one of the Norwegian sailors, 
I was to take the zigzag road up the ridge on 
the north. 

What I sought were woods in which the 
other birds might find shelter. We climbed 
1500 feet before the grasses became inter- 
rupted by huge ferns, like tree-ferns without 
trunks. A little later the path veered to the 
right and traversed a gully filled with the low 
woods we had seen from below. In such moist 
places there were also typical tree-ferns with 
trunks fifteen feet high. A tangled "maqui" 
tree with small purplish berries attracted a 
pair of thrushes {Turdus falcklandii) , but I 
failed to find either the hummingbird or the 
spiny-tailed A phrastura masafuerae. 

Petrel nests 

As we climbed higher through these woods 
we began to see the burrows of gadfly petrels. 
Great numbers of the birds had been seen over 
the ocean at daybreak, and here were their 
homes. Jack dug out a few of the holes with- 
out finding any occupied, but several dried 
carcasses lying near by were readily identified 
as Pterodroma externa. Another smaller spe- 
cies, P. leucoptera, is likewise known to nest 
on the island, probably at a higher level. 

After crossing several wooded gullies, the 
trail ended near a rough shack with a corru- 



gated iron roof. Inside, the ashes of a fire 
seemed not more than a few months old, and 
I felt as though I had stumbled on the abode 
of Robinson Crusoe. This camp was probably 
used occasionally by goat-hunters from Mas 
Atierra. 

We walked uphill through open groves of 
trees with grass beneath, until these woods 
ended at 2200 feet. Above that there were 
clumps of tough ferns, four or five feet high, 
and a few tree-ferns with short fronds. As far 
up as we could see, ferns dominated the land- 
scape. Looking down into a moist ravine, 
Jack spied some foliage like giant rhubarb 
leaves, five feet broad, with stems at least six 
feet long. So we climbed down to where these 
amazing leaves grew from a fleshy trunk that 
seemed covered with shaggy red hair. Gunnera 
peltata is a justly celebrated plant, and though 
native only to the Juan Fernandez Islands, it 
has been grown widely in botanic gardens. 

Of for Mas Atierra 

To get down to the landing-place took little 
over an hour, and by five in the afternoon we 
were sailing away. Soon we were surrounded 
by the evening assembly of petrels, hundreds of 
them sailing low over the water, as they pre- 
pared to revisit their nests. The sun set di- 
rectly back of the deserted prison-island, and 
we headed for Mas Atierra. 

A schooner sighted shortly after midnight, 





Two of the common Pacific types of 
gadfly petrel (Pterodroma), showing 



32 



the upper and lower surfaces as they 
are seen when "banking" in the wind 

NATURAL HISTORY, JUNE, 1 936 



the second ship seen out of sight of land since 
we left California, was hound in the opposite 
direction on a fishing or hunting trip to Mas 
Afuera. 

Early next morning Mas Atierra and its 
smaller neighbor, Santa Clara Island, were in 
plain view on a smooth ocean, with petrels of 
several kinds as well as shearwaters in view. 
At first these islands looked even more arid 
than Mas Afuera. As we approached the 
northern corner of Mas Atierra there were 
high cliffs, and then the Sugarloaf, a 2000- 
foot mountain with a tiny cap of woods and a 
few of the indigenous Juania palms. 

A real Robinson Crusoe 

Beyond Sugarloaf was a small bay with a 
cave in the rock near shore — Selkirk's Cave. 
It was here that Alexander Selkirk was put 
ashore in 1704, to live alone for four years 
and four months, and thus to provide Defoe 
with material for Robinson Crusoe. While the 
lower ends of the valleys still looked very dry, 
extensive woods could be seen inland at the 
bases of the mountains. There the island is far 
more richly wooded than any part of Mas 
Afuera. 

Finally we came abreast of the village of 
San Juan Bautista, where a large white build- 
ing on the shore was the headquarters of an im- 
portant lobster company. The catch is shipped 
to Valparaiso. Behind the village rose moun- 
tains the highest of which is known as "El 
Yunque" in allusion to its anvil form. The 
higher end rises a little over 3000 feet. 

Hugo Weber, one of the crew of the "Dres- 
den," sunk in this harbor during the World 
War, came back with his wife a few years ago 
to live on a farm near the base of El Yunque. 
My day was spent in an excursion to Weber's 
farm, a clearing surrounded by beautiful 
forest ; and there I met Charles Bock, a vet- 
eran collector of birds and plants. Our road 
led up through woods at first composed largely 
of "maqui" trees, introduced from South 
America, and now spreading with dangerous 
rapidity. Just before reaching the farm we came 
into the indigenous forest, with large trees of 
many species and undergrowth rich in ferns. 

About the Weber's home were flower gar- 
dens that attract hummingbirds, especially the 
smaller green Sephanoides sephaniod.es. Along 
a path at the edge of the woods we began to 



see the larger Thaumasle fernandensis, the 
species which had eluded us on Mas Afuera. 
The males are largely rufous, the females 
glossy green above, whitish beneath. Unless 
forewarned one would take them for two dis- 
tinct kinds of hummingbirds. A favorite tree 
with this bird was Raph'ithamnus venustus, 
full of small tubular blue flowers. Whenever 
we noticed such fallen flowers, we would al- 
most certainly lind the hummers chasing each 
other or feeding overhead. 

In swampy places in the woods Mr. Bock 
showed us a splendid patch of Gunnera plants, 
and likewise some of the rarer examples of the 
flora which he had transplanted from the 
higher mountains. Mas Atierra is an island to 
arouse the enthusiasm of a botanist. 

As we left our anchorage early the next 
morning a school of six or eight killer whales 
escorted us for ten minutes or more. Two and 
a half days of very easy going brought us with- 
in view of the Andes, and only a few hours 
before we sighted South America Jaques saw 
the first albatross. It was near the same place, 
too, that small flocks of phalaropes began to 
show themselves. Probably of the species called 
the red phalarope, they were in gray-and- 
white winter plumage, looking for all the 
world like sanderlings when in flight. These 
lobe-footed shorebirds breed in the Arctic and 
then seek the southern summer at sea, even be- 
yond the Tropic of Capricorn. 

Birds of the cold current 

We had almost failed to appreciate the nar- 
rowness of the fringe of cold water welling 
up in the Humboldt Current. The morning of 
February 4, 1935, we arose at daybreak to see 
the peak of Aconcagua, and in two hours were 
off the harbor of Valparaiso. The skuas, gulls, 
terns, pelicans, cormorants, and boobies char- 
acteristic of the cold water seemed almost to hug 
the shore. They all showed up when I was 
below, shaving, to Jaques' great amusement. 

At Valparaiso we were back again in civil- 
ization — strikingly so. The influence of cli- 
mate on human society here finds eloquent 
expression. Moreover, we were among friends. 
Local naturalists and American consular of- 
ficials greeted us warmly, the press pictured 
us on the front page. We tied up alongside 
Mr. W. K. Vanderbilt's yacht "Alva," and I 
met my old friend William Belanske, his ar- 



ISLANDS WEST OF SOUTH AMERICA 



33 



tist-preparator. A little farther along the mole 
was the Chilean training ship "Almirante 
Baquedano," the name of which we had seen 
painted on the Easter Island statues. 

Our stay of eight days in Chile would deserve 
an article in itself. Suffice it to say that Mr. 
Crocker, Doctor Shapiro, and Mr. Jaques 
visited Santiago, and then Jaques and I made 
a two-day trip by train and auto to the Argen- 
tine frontier. From the base of the statue of 
Christ the Redeemer on a cold Andean pass we 
gazed upon the snowy summit of Aconcagua. 
In the afternoon Lincoln Ellsworth flew over 
us in a passenger plane from Mendoza to 
Santiago. 

At Valparaiso we bade goodbye to Doctor 
Shapiro, whose work had been completed. 
Henceforth we would confine our attention to 
islands of no anthropological interest, but we 
were sorry to lose his ever-cheerful companion- 
ship. 

If I was disappointed at seeing so few of the 
Humboldt Current birds before reaching Val- 
paraiso, I had no regrets as the "Zaca" bore us 
northward along the coast to Coquimbo. Now 



we met the albatrosses, diving petrels, large 
skuas, black-backed kelp gulls, gray gulls, Inca 
terns, brown pelicans, guanay and red-footed 
cormorants, and Peruvian boobies. These are 
only the common species of the assemblage de- 
scribed so masterfully in Dr. R. C. Murphy's 
Bird Islands of Peru. 

Coquimbo was our point of departure for 
the barren volcanic islands of the San Felix 
group, lying about 400 miles off the coast of 
northern Chile, near latitude 26° S. After a 
single night at sea no more cold-water birds 
were visible, and we began to see petrels like 
those of the Juan Fernandez Islands. Another 
three days and we awoke to find ourselves ap- 
proaching San Felix, having already passed the 
much higher island of San Ambrosio. 

Eleven miles apart, they both are rocky and 
treeless, at first apparently devoid of vegeta- 
tion. A third island, Gonzales, lies close to 
San Felix, as though they might be remnants 
of some old gigantic crater, now chewed apart 
by the relentless ocean. Flocks of sooty terns 
flew out to meet us, and a few white boobies 
with black wing-quills. The principal reason 



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The Route of the Crocker Pacific Expedition 

The "Zaca" which carried the party almost ent article describes the last leg of the journey, 
14,000 miles through the Pacific, is a two- from the Juan Fernandez Islands north to 
masted schooner, 118 feet over all. The pres- Panama 



34 



NATURAL HISTORY, JUNE, 1 93 6 



for our visit was to make a list of the resident 
birds for Doctor Murphy. He had seen a poor 
photograph of a booby taken at San Felix, 
where they were said to have nested in great 
numbers before the Chilean earthquake of 
1922. The only species of booby we saw here 
was this masked booby, Sula dactylatra, so the 
puzzle was solved. 

The western end of San Felix is formed by 
a high yellowish hill of soft tufa. On this 
elevation we at last made out scattered low 
bushes covered with gray-green foliage. To the 
northwest of the anchorage a gray cathedral- 
like rock rose from the sea. The only land- 
ing-place on the island was a ledge beside a 
deep cave, where an old rope dangled down 
the low cliff. The rope had apparently been 
left by the training-ship "Baquedano," for its 
name was painted on the rock. 

Ashore on San Felix 

Our second officer climbed up the old rope 
and attached a safer one for me. With a 
sailor-companion I was then able to wander 
all over the dusty top of the island. Traces of 
a few old booby nests were seen, but only one 
pair still attended patiently to their egg, which 
was hopelessly addled. They may have been 
waiting months for it to hatch. The sooty 
terns and gadfly petrels (Pterodroma cookii) 
had practically finished nesting ; all but a few 
of their young were on the wing. Gray nod- 
dies alighted confidingly on the rocks about 
us, but had no nests. 

On the lower section of the island, built 
of successive flows of brown-black lava, there 
were low round bushes of purplish sea-blite, 
and a very few examples of a grass and a 
mallow. Four species of plants were all I 
could find. The only conspicuous insects were 
large flies which swarmed upon us, especially 
in the spots where colonies of terns had 
nested. 

In the afternoon the "Zaca" took us back 
to San Ambrosio. Here the bare forbidding 
cliffs, hundreds of feet high, made me doubt 
that anyone had ever climbed them. The very 
top of the island, rising to 1470 feet, was well 
covered with greenish bushes, over which hun- 
dreds of large petrels (Pterodr.nma neglecta) 
could be seen circling. They evidently had a 
well protected breeding community there. 

As night fell white-bellied storm-petrels 



{I'reytttu grallaria) made their appearance 
around the yacht, as birds which had been 
feeding offshore came in to replace their mates 
on the nests. 

I have since learned to my surprise that in 
1869 Simpson reached the summit of San Am- 
brosio and brought down in his hat specimens 
of its plants. Seven of them do not occur even 
on San Felix. 

To the guano islands 

Our next port was Pisco in Peru, just in- 
side the Chincha Islands, the best known of 
all the guano islands. Here millions of sea- 
birds unwittingly add to the revenues of the 
Peruvian Government. We were to collect 
materials to show the guanay cormorants. 
(Phalacrocorax bougainvillii) , Peruvian boo- 
bies (Sula variegata), and brown pelicans 
(Pelecanus thagus), which nest on these rain- 
less islands in incredible numbers. In prehis- 
toric times their excreta raised the elevation 
of one of the Chinchas by 180 feet. 

During the nineteenth century this accumu- 
lation of fertilizer was dug down and ex- 
ported even to the opposite side of the earth. 
its exploitation sometimes accompanied by the 
utmost brutality toward the workers. More- 
over, the birds themselves were dangerously 
depleted in number before the government of 
Peru awoke to the wisdom of protecting the 
birds to insure a permanent supply of guano. 

Now, before landing on the Chinchas, we 
would need a special government permit. 
Thanks to my colleague, Doctor Murphy, 
and his good friend, Senor Ballen, director of 
the government guano administration, this 
permit was awaiting us at Pisco. So we re- 
crossed the bay, plowing through a great flock 
of "guanayes" busy with their fishing, and 
anchored between the North and the Central 
Island. 

We were greeted by the guardians of the 
islands, whose chief inspected our official pa- 
pers ; and they began by showing us over the 
Central and South Islands. The North Island 
was black with a new brood of full-fledged 
"guanayes" or cormorants, and from morning 
till night their parents streamed out in long 
lines toward the fishing grounds. 

Around the cliffs were the colonies of Peru- 
vian boobies or "piqueros," and on top of 
these declivities sat rows of huge brown peli- 
cans, at once sedate and foolish-looking. On 



ISLANDS WEST OF SOUTH AMERICA 



35 



the wing they would become majestic. Low 
down on the rocks flocks of Inca terns with 
white ear-rings of feathers took their repose, 
while there, too, and especially near caves, one 
might see small parties of Humboldt penguins. 
The Central Island had only a small colony 
of '"guanayes" still sitting on their nests, and 
the same was true of the South Island, which 
had recently undergone a "harvest" of its 
guano. No blade of grass or twig of a bush 
could be found on any of the three islands. 
But cormorants must have nests, so these uti- 
lized the cast-off wing and tail quills of their 
own kind, building a soft if filthy cradle in 
which to lay their eggs. Most of the nests 
held newly hatched young, ten times homelier 
than any ugly duckling, with small black 
heads and snaky wrinkled necks. 

Planning a bird group 

Jaques, with practiced eye and previous ex- 
perience of the Peruvian islands, quickly chose 
the south end of the South Island for his back- 
ground, with the Ballesta Islands and San 
Gallan in the distance. It was my sorry duty 
to gather the specimens to be placed in the 
foreground of the group. Nothing but birds 
painted in the background can ever give an 
idea of the numbers of sea-birds about these 
islands. 

Down below us on the stony beaches dozed 
hulking bull sea-lions, with their smaller mates 
and progeny. The protectors of the birds, I am 
sorry to say, frequently shot the sea-lions ; yet 
the latter seemed in no danger of extermina- 
tion. In three days we went over the islands 
thoroughly, taking photographs, collecting the 
number of old nests needed, and what few 
other accessories could be had. Nearly all my 
birds were obtained over the water. Ashore 
the air was frequently nauseating, and even as 
the "Zaca" left to sail northward toward Cal- 
lao it passed to leeward through a fog of white 
dust and down-feathers. 

The following morning, as we rounded the 
mountainous island of San Lorenzo to enter 
the harbor of Callao, looking in vain for a 
possible condor, the guano birds were all 
about us. Our stay of four days, with frequent 
visits to Lima, was largely devoted to sight- 
seeing. An Exposition of the Fourth Centen- 
nial of the Founding of Lima was in progress, 
where ornithological exhibits from the Uni- 



versity Museum were on view, including a 
habitat group of guano-producers. 

Right after leaving Callao we paid our fare- 
well visit to a pair of small but remarkable 
bird-islands. Some thirty-five miles offshore 
are the "Hormigas de Afuera," the "offshore 
ants," low bits of rock where guano cannot be 
gathered because of the dangerous surf. Their 
tops would be pure white were it not for the 
army of "piqueros" nesting on them, leaving 
room only for a herd of fifty sea-lions on the 
larger one and ten more on its smaller neigh- 
bor. There were also, to be sure, a small 
group of twenty "guanayes," and some Inca 
terns on rocks too steep for the larger birds. 
Strings of "piqueros" kept flying in until we 
were watching them cross the red disc of the 
setting sun. 

On all sides the breakers roared, sending 
their spray higher than the dark rocky wall 
of the islets that rose only twenty-five feet 
above sea-level. Any attempt to land would 
have been foolhardy, so we were unable to 
learn anything of the nesting of the small 
storm-petrels which appeared after sunset. 
Rollo Beck had had the same experience here. 

Isles of the tortoises 

That evening the "Zaca" set out for the 
Galapagos Islands, about a thousand miles to 
the northwest, where the ocean water is some 
ten degrees warmer than that of the Peruvian 
coast. Consequently the sea-bird fauna is al- 
most totally different. Now it was early 
March in 1935, and I was to revisit the 
islands where I had gone five years before as 
a guest of Vincent Astor on his yacht 
"Nourmahal." 

Some of my friends, even after visiting the 
Galapagos, describe them as cool and com- 
fortable, despite their equatorial location. I 
am a violent dissenter, in so far as the months 
of March and April are concerned, when my 
visits occurred. Other seasons may be differ- 
ent. Shortly after the turn of the year the 
rains arrive in the archipelago, the air warms 
up and becomes sticky. A cooling breeze may 
blow on the beach or over the mountains, but 
nowhere have I ever been more freely bathed 
in perspiration than while finding a way amid 
the cactus thickets of the Galapagos, just back 
from the shore. 

Yet these islands are superlatively attrac- 



36 



NATURAL HISTORY, JUNE, 1936 



tive to a naturalist, more so than the beautiful 
ones we had visited in Polynesia. Life is so 
much more abundant on them. Giant tortoises 
are still to be found, land-iguanas with the 
bite of a steel trap, other iguanas diving for 
seaweed in the ocean, hawks without fear of 
man, mockingbirds and flycatchers bold and 
inquisitive, pretty doves most peaceful of all, 
and the smallest barn owls in the world. 
Among mammals there are sea-lions and a 
few surviving fur-seals, but only a couple of 
species of native rats. 

The avifauna of the Galapagos, first studied 
by Charles Darwin in 1835, ' s novv exceed- 
ingly well known. It offers wonderful ex- 
amples of the efficacy of isolation in the origin 
of species and subspecies — much more com- 
plex, probably, than Darwin suspected. In the 
celebrated case of the finches (Geospiza and 
allies), while a few species are restricted to a 
single island, the majority are found on sev- 
eral islands, and may or may not be divisible 
into local races. 

Indefatigable Island, for example, is in- 
habited by eleven species of these small birds. 
It would seem that species first developed 
through isolation and later came together 
without interbreeding. One may claim that 
every step in the development of a species, or 
even a genus, can be followed. 

Our party could not undertake an extended 
survey. The task was to select a spot well 
stocked with land-birds, with suitable scenic 
properties, and to collect all that would be 
needed in the Whitney Hall. 

Approaching from the southeast, passing 
Hood Island, to my regret, at night, we 
sighted first the southern end of Albermarle 
and continued around the western side. The 
first afternoon a landing was made on a rather 
barren lava-field just south of Elizabeth Bay, 
where a few small Galapagos penguins were 
the birds of greatest interest. Consorting with 
tropical brown pelicans, yellow warblers, and 
an egret, these penguins were a paradox in an 
order of birds so often associated with bleak 
coasts and Antarctic ice. 

Aims in the Galapagos 

Our next stop was in Tagus Cove, also on 
Albermarle Island, its steep rocky wall 
adorned with forty-seven names of yachts and 
tuna-fishermen in white paint. To "Zaca, 



1032" was added "1935." Below these 
mementos sat groups of marine iguanas, four 
large brown cormorants (Nannopterum luir- 
risi) with wings too small for flight, pelicans, 
blue-footed boobies, turnstones, and wandering 
tattlers. No penguins were visible ; I fear that 
they had all been exported to zoological 
gardens. A brief excursion convinced us that 
neither the thin bushy vegetation nor its resi- 
dent land-birds were adequate for our group. 
More flightless cormorants and penguins 
were seen on the north shore of Narborough 
Island before we circled the north end of 
Albermarle to double back toward Indefatig- 
able. At James Island, on the way, we stepped 
ashore in a particularly well wooded bay ; but 
eventually we chose a site for our group at 
Conway Bay on the northwest side of Inde- 
fatigable Island. 

Plants and birds 

The rough lava hillocks here bore low 
woods of Bursera and other trees, with large 
cacti of two kinds. Finches were numerous 
and varied, a very conspicuous black species 
clambering about the Opuntia cacti, pecking 
at flowers or fruit. Other kinds ate berries and 
seeds, or devoured the green caterpillars so 
abundant at this season. Leaves were growing 
rapidly on the trees, showers were not 
infrequent. 

The view northward included so many is- 
lands as to give a vivid impression of the 
Galapagos as an archipelago. Frigate-birds, 
brown pelicans, blue-footed boobies, and lava 
gulls were passing continually. Mockingbirds 
came to inspect Jaques as he painted the scene 
in oil under a canvas shelter. Blue-black mar- 
tins came flying over from Eden Island. 

Nearly two weeks were required to com- 
plete our work. Fresh bird-skins were desir- 
able, as well as many sections of woody plants 
and cacti to be reconstructed in the fore- 
ground. Some of the crew aided us ashore, 
others ran the small boats to and from the 
yacht, and under Mr. Crocker's supervision 
every detail was organized for comfort and 
efficiency. 

My rat traps here caught nothing except 
introduced black rats. One evening I found 
the sailors collecting the tropical clawless lob- 
sters in the rocky shallows. About fifty of 
them were boiled in sea-water in a large iron 
barrel, and never have I tasted better lobster. 



ISLANDS WEST OF SOUTH AMERICA 



37 



But the cloud of mosquitoes around the fire 
was almost unbearable. 

At Conway Bay our bird-group work was 
ended. We still had time to visit Academy 
Bay on the south side of the island, where 
an unsuccessful attempt had been made to 
found a Norwegian fishing station. The gov- 
ernor of the archipelago was there on a visit, 
and among the several European residents 
were Stampa and Wold, who had assisted us 
during the "Nourmahal's" visit in 1930. In 
that year there were but three men living on 
Indefatigable. 

An old friend 

The third was Elias Sanchez, an Ecua- 
dorian, whom we had discovered hiding be- 
hind the banana plants on a farm in the in- 
terior. He was watching us, and very suspici- 
ously, until Kermit Roosevelt addressed him 
in Spanish. Now in 1935, along the trail 
leading inland, I again came face to face with 
Sanchez, beaming with joy at our meeting. 

The population of Academy Bay has now 
increased to about twenty-three, including 
Mr. and Mrs. Rader, Messrs. Finsen and 
Worm-Muller, Scandinavians, and Mr. and 
Mrs. Kiippler, Germans by birth. 

The place used to be celebrated for its 
hawks, forty or fifty of which could always 
be seen sitting around on trees and buildings. 
They were so tame that not only could they 
be snared with a loop on a pole, but actually 
induced to perch on a rake and lifted a few 
feet down before they took wing to regain 
their perch. 

We know that the principal food of this 
bird (Buteo galapagoensis) is huge centipedes; 
but because of fear that it might attack chicks, 
it has been slaughtered until now one sees but 
four or five in a day. The doves (Nesopelia 
galapagoensis) have disappeared for another 
reason; they were too palatable. 

It must be added, however, that the Ecua- 
dorian Government has recently set aside as 
wild-life reserves a great many of the unin- 
habited islands. The strict regulations against 
destruction of the native fauna there should 
prevent extermination of any of the remark- 
able species. 

Our last morning in the archipelago was 
spent at Darwin Bay on Tower Island, where 
a populous colony of frigate-birds breeds un- 
molested year after year. They are all of one 



species, Fregata minor, whereas on Indefatig- 
able Island only Fregata magnificens was com- 
monly seen. When a ship enters Darwin Bay 
a flock of these great soaring birds gathers 
above it, but without one adult male among 
them. The majority are females, with dark 
heads and white breasts. A few immature 
birds can be recognized by their white heads. 

Even from the anchorage some of the males 
can be seen sitting on their nests with red 
throat-sacs inflated. Others are in the air, but 
they avoid the ship. The stick nests are mostly 
on low bushes not far back of the shore; and 
in two different years I have seen the colony 
very active, with eggs but no young nestlings, 
in late March and April. How long their 
breeding season lasts I cannot say, but this 
would seem to be its commencement. A few 
masked boobies make their homes on the 
ground, while red-footed boobies build most 
of their nests a little higher in trees. Beautiful 
forked-tailed gulls (Creagrus furcatus) incu- 
bate their eggs or tend their chicks on rocks 
close to the shore. Gray lava gulls (Larus 
fuliginosus) gather on the beach, but seem not 
to nest here. 

The sun beat down with an ardor that was 
fully equatorial. We had drunk all the water 
in our canteens. Yet it was not without regret 
that I quit this torrid shore for the cool com- 
fort of the "Zaca," wondering whether I 
should ever pay it a third visit. 

Farewell to the Pacific 

Five and a half days later we were off the 
Pearl Islands in the Gulf of Panama; and 
early the next morning, the first of April, 
1 93 5 j we docked at Balboa. Old friends waited 
on the dock: Mrs. Jaques, Doctor Chapman, 
James Zetek, and Doctor Guillermo Patter- 
son. Patterson and I were school-mates; Doc- 
tor Chapman has watched over me almost 
since my school days. Largely to Zetek we owe 
the Barro Colorado biological station, where 
Doctor Chapman soon took me. 

Since I had been signed on as Purser of the 
"Zaca" I received my Certificate of Dis- 
charge at Balboa. The notations concerning 
my ability and my seamanship I consider alto- 
gether too flattering. For six and a half months 
I had been privileged to watch the ocean, the 
islands, and the birds. For that I give thanks 
to Mr. Crocker and the Museum. 



38 



NATURAL HISTORY, JUNE, 1 936 



Islands 

West of 

South America 












Toshio Asaeda 



Except for a few eucalypts and pines there was 
no shade about the deserted penal colony on 
Mas Afuera, the outermost island of the Juan 
Fernandez group. Located at the mouth of a 
great gorge, it needed no prison wall, many 
miles of ocean serving far more effectually 



ISLANDS WEST OF SOUTH AMERICA 



39 








J*V. 




«#*: f ; * * 






The largest leaf, save those of palms, 
that I have ever seen. Jack Ratikan, 
a sailor born north of the Arctic 
Circle, holds up a Gunnera leaf and 
flower-spike 



A Gunnera plant in the woods on Mas 
Atierra. Mr. Bock, who stands by its 
stout trunk, is an enthusiastic collector 
of plants, and volunteered to guide us 
on our short visit to this island 

40 





The main village on Mas Atierra, named alter St. John the Baptist. 
The notch in the ridge behind, some iSiui feet above the sea is 
Selkirk's Lookout, where he could watch for a sail on opposite sides 
of the island. The middle slopes of the mountains are ivell wooded, 
the shore decidedly arid 




Toshio Asaeda 



(Above) View over the harbor of Val- 
paraiso, with the "Zaca" moored beside 
the "Alva" and Chilean naval vessels 
(Right) a Close-up of the venerable 
training ship "Baquedano" 




(Above) San Ambrosio Island from the west. 
Its forbidding cliffs make it a fortress for nest- 
ing petrels, and on its summit grow a dozen or 
more species of plants that illustrate the effect 
of long isolation from the continent 



(Below) The only place to land on San Felix, 
at the left of a deep cave worn by the sea. 
Successive flows of lava are indicated by the 
bands in the cliff, which show that originally 
the island was very much larger 

(Photo by Toshio Asaeda) 





(Above) View along the barren plateau of San 
Felix. From these high black cliffs the ground 
slopes gently in the opposite direction toward 
the landing place. Gonzales Island in the right 
background 



(Below) A masked booby of San Felix on her 
nest. Restricted to the warmer oceans, this spe- 
cies is found around the world. The gannets of 
the colder oceans are near relatives of boobies 




■-*-> 




ISLANDS WEST OF SOUTH AMERICA 



43 




(Above) The Chincha Islands are well 
equipped for the loading of guano into ships. 
Each island has its piers, and here and there are 
quarters for the guardians and the workers 



(Beloiv) Those "very strange birds," the peli- 
cans, live on the tops of many cliffs, from which 
they can readily take wing. The passing of our 
motor boat, however, rarely disturbed them 






UftES* 









(Above) Inca terns feed in flocks low over the water, and rest on steep rocks 
along shore. At first glance so strikingly different from others of their family, 
they are perhaps most closely related to the plain-colored noddies 

(Below) Two Peruvian bird-protectors on the Chincha Islands, with some of 
their charges, guanay cormorants, on nests near by. The hollows in the white 
surface of the island mark the location of myriads of old nests 








-**: 




(Above) An old male sea-lion rears his head from the 
water, in concern or perhaps out of curiosity after his 
companions have deserted the shore at our approach. Un- 
gainly they may be on land, but once in the water these 
sea-going carnivores are marvels of grace and speed 



46 





::M$S$ 



(Above) This picture may be suggestive oj a penguin 
island, but really shows a colony of strong-flying cor- 
morants. Their numbers were augmented by a new 
brood of full-grown young 

(Below) The genesis of a Chincha Island background. 
Air. Jaques makes his initial sketch of the rocky head- 
lands and the distant islands from the site of the future 
bird-group 

Tos/iio Asaeda 




47 



Mr. Crocker examines the mail at the "P.O. 
Tagus Cove," on Albemarle Island. The box 
was first set up in this uninhabited bay by 
Mr. W. A. Robinson so he could receive 
mail from home by any fishing boat or yacht 
(Continued opposite) 



(Below) A peaceful section in a colony of 
the guanay cormorant. According to Doctor 
Murphy this is "the most valuable bird in the 
world" as appraised by the total rent it pays 
for its ill-smelling tenements 

(Photo by Toshio Asaeda) 





4 8 



NATURAL HISTORY, JUNE, 1 936 




that came theri ii-,m Panama, even though 
he might be awa$ on some short cruise. Hen 
also Mr. Robinson would havt died of appen- 
dicitis if he hail not ban able to send a radio 
from a California tuna-boat 

(Photo hy Toihio Aiaeda) 




One of the prominent residents of Tagus Cove. 
a flightless cormorant. These birds, unknown 
before l8gS, are among those most in need of 
protection, as they are found only in a small 
western section of the Galapagos 




ISLANDS WEST OF SOUTH AMERICA 



49 






(Above) At Conway Bay on Inde- 
fatigable Island Jaques was making 
a beautiful reproduction in oil of 
the broad expanse of beach, sea, and 
islands to be shown in his background. 
The burning sun made an awning 
necessary, while the fresh breeze ren- 
dered guy-ropes advisable 

(Photos all by Toshio Asaeda) 



(Left) A great blue heron on the 
rough lava shore of Conway Bay. It 
differs very slightly from the North 
American race of the same species, 
zuhereas certain of the other water 
birds are more markedly divergent 
from those of the mainland 




(Above) One side of Conway Bay, with Eden 
Island a little off shore. "Eden" it is, perhaps, 
for marine iguanas and birds. This view is only 
the left end of the background as planned; to 
the right many other islands were visible 



(Below) A Galapagos green heron that ap- 
pears to have seen something. It hen in repose 
it would draw in its neck so as to appear nearly 
half this size. This bird is much sootier in color 
than its relatives on the American mainland 







JF* 



M 






(Above) Mr. Clarence Hay, in igjo, 
demonstrating how little a Galapagos 
hawk fears to be taken for a butterfly. 
Tameness is an outstanding characteristic 
of many Galapagos birds 



(Left) Galapagos mockingbirds are sturdy, 
venturesome, and inquisitive members of 
their clan, also less musical than many. 
There are marked differences between 
the several forms in various sections of 
the archipelago, this one being native to 
Indefatigable 

(Photo by Toshio Asaeda) 



52 



NATURAL HISTORY, JUNE, I 93 6 



(Right) One of the brownish Galapagos 
finches, many of them the females or 
young of birds that become black in the 
adult male. In other species even the male 
may always be brown. To the biologist 
these are birds of special historical and evo- 
lutionary interest 

(Photo by Toshio .lunula) 



(Beloiv) A black cactus-finch perched on 
its favorite food-plant, the Opuntia cactus. 
It may be responsible for the sizeable hole 
beloiu. Its nest is placed amid the spiny 
pads of the same cactus 

(Photo by Toshio Asacda) 




/-.<?-■'» 









(Above) Looking proud as a 
rooster, with gleaming hackles 
on his back, the male frigate- 
bird seems also to imitate the 
pouter pigeon 



(Right) A young frigate-bird 
fully capable of flight, still fre- 
quenting the old homestead on 
Tower Island. When it has 
stolen enough fish from other 
birds it will mate and start 
housekeeping too 

(Photo by Toshio Asaeda) 

54 




(Above) The majority oj fed-footed 
boobies in the Galapagos remain in a 
nondescript brown plumage, instead oj 

becoming almost wholly white. I In \ 
are very fond of perching in trees 




Perpetual Ice Under Lava 

A natural "ice-box" in New Mexico, where the motorist 
can find welcome relief from the summer sun and an interesting 
scientific puzzle to solve 



By John Stewart MacClary 

A lava bed whose surface is unpleas- 
antly warm to the touch does not seem 
a likely setting for a deposit of perpet- 
ual ice. Yet in just such a locality, where the 
brazen New Mexican sun beats down upon 
a surface which once was molten stone, a de- 
posit of perpetual ice does exist. 

Signboards lead the traveler to a volcanic 
sink, an abrupt depression of an estimated 
depth of seventy-five feet. This was produced 
when a natural tunnel in the lava bed caved 
in. The tunnel was caused by the flowing away 
of molten lava from the lower part of the bed 
after the upper surface had cooled and 
hardened. 

The floor of the sink is covered by jagged 
chunks of grayish black basalt which once 
formed a roof above the cavity. The accumu- 
lated warmth of the air in the depression 
strikes one almost like the blast from a furnace. 
One wonders how ice could possibly withstand 
a temperature such as this. 

A hoax? 

A skeptical mind prompts the cynical thought : 
"Just another 'gag' to snare the credulous 
tourist!" But there is no admission charge, 
there is no tip-seeking guide, and another sign 
insists that the Perpetual Ice Cave can be seen 
at the end of the trail which leads down into 
and around the volcanic sink. Irregular chunks 
of fallen stone block what seems to be a cavern 
in the wall of the sink. As the perspiring visi- 
tor approaches this rubble, the air becomes 
noticeably cooler. Perhaps, after all, the cave 
of perpetual ice is not a myth. 

By this time a feeling of eager expectancy 



has seized the visitor. He climbs the heap of 
fallen stone that obstructs the mouth of the 
cavern. At the summit of the disorderly pile 
he gazes down into the depths whence comes 
the current of cool air. 

The sight which greets his eyes is well worth 
the effort he has spent. Imagine a bank of solid 
ice, mild aquamarine in color, from 12 to 14 
feet in height and some 50 feet in width, 
calmly resting in a tunnel of what once was 
molten stone — the hottest manifestation of the 
earth's internal heat! 

Feeling is believing 

The visitor touches the ice with an experi- 
mental finger Yes, it is ice — not some illusory 
mineral crystal. Gone is all skepticism. If the 
bank of ice can withstand the heat of this 
August day it must deserve the qualification 
"perpetual." 

The ice is horizontally banded by strange 
dark lines of stratification. The nearly vertical 
face of the mass is gracefully curved from left 
to right. There is very little water from melted 
ice at the base of the deposit, and what there is 
registers 32 degrees Fahrenheit. The tempera- 
ture of the air in the volcanic sink just outside 
the mouth of the cave is that of a cloudless 
August noon in the desert of western New 
Mexico. 

The beholder is naturally perplexed as to 
how the ice was formed and why it does not 
melt away. 

Its presence so near the hot surface of the 
ground depends primarily upon the fact that 
lava is among Nature's most efficient tempera- 
ture insulators. The lava contains an infinite 
number of minute pores and cavities, and the 
dead air in them hinders the transmission of 



56 



NATURAL HISTORY, JUNE, 1 93 6 



heat through the stone from the sun. Once the 
hulk of a lava deposit has become thoroughly 
chilled to its depths, heat from the sun cannot 
penetrate the frigid mass. The cold which pro- 
duces the ice probably comes from far below 
the surface. The ice is formed at a point where 
moisture filtering downward from the surface 
is met by frigid air from the depths of the in- 
sulated volcanic tunnel. 

The only warmth which reaches the ice de- 
posit comes from infrequent swirling gusts of 
air that has been heated in the volcanic sink 
beyond the obstructing rubble at the mouth of 
the cavern. The effect of such eddies of warm 
air is seen in the curving outline of the face of 
the ice deposit. 

The bluish-green tint of the ice is probably 
produced by pollen wafted onto the ice surface 
at times when the mass was slowly forming, 
from pines that grow on the lava outside. The 
darker bands of stratification were formed by 
layers of dust similarly deposited. From a dis- 
tance, or from a photograph, it might be sup- 
posed that these bands could be used as ref- 
erence marks for tracing the age of the de- 
posit as are growth rings in a tree. Actually, 
the dust bands are not distinct when seen at 
close range. 

Age 

It has been said by competent geologists that 
the lava bed in which this ice deposit is found 
is of comparatively recent formation. The geol- 
ogist's interpretation of the term "recent," 
however, differs from the historian's. On the 
surface of the lava flow are magnificent yellow 
pine trees, having trunks more than three feet 
in diameter. The yellow pine grows slowly in a 
land where moisture is scant ; moreover a fresh 
bed of lava would not at once offer soil for 
vegetation. Weathering and the accumulation 
of dust for a seed bed must have first occurred. 

Another bit of evidence of great age lies 
in the fact that no incident of volcanic erup- 
tion has been found in the historical anecdotes 
of the Indian tribes of the region. And archae- 
ologists in the Southwest present evidence that 
the region has been continuously inhabited for 
more than a thousand years. 



Everything coi eems probable 

that the ice deposit has survived the torrid 
summers of many centuries in a land whose 
lack of moisture is almost proverbial. 

Deposits of ice in lava beds are not particu- 
larly rare. Their occurrence, however, is 
seldom noted so far soutli as central New 
Mexico, (central, that is, from North to 
South; the deposit is not far from the \\ estern 
limit of the state). On the map of the I nited 
States this spot is almost at the inters' 
the parallel 35 degrees north with the meridian 
108 degrees west. The elevation is a little more 
than 7000 feet above sea level. 

How to get t lie re 

In most known ice beds which occur in lava 
caves the deposits melt during warm weather. 
Several ice deposits of continuous existence 
have been found near the Perpetual Ice Cave, 
but they are not accessible without the use of 
horses and resident guides. The Perpetual Ice 
Cave, may be visited by motorists, by follow- 
ing a secondary road leading southwestward 
from the town of Grant, New Mexico, on 
transcontinental highway U. S. bb. The detour 
moreover takes the traveler to a number of 
other interesting sites, including the old Span- 
ish town of San Rafael, El Morro National 
Monument, the old Mormon village of 
Ramah, and the Indian pueblo of Zuni. 

Not far from the mouth of the Perpetual 
Ice Cave are numerous remains of prehistoric 
habitations. The ruins consist of low circular 
walls of lava blocks, presumably primitive 
foundations. The identity of the builders and 
inhabitants never has been determined by in- 
vestigators. It seems probable that proximity 
to an unfailing source of good drinking water 
— the ice cave — was justification for settling 
or camping in a spot where agriculture was 
not practical. 

In this civilized age when "air conditioning" 
and "automatic refrigeration" have become 
common terms to most of us, the Perpetual 
Ice Cave is probably not so mysterious as it 
was to the primitive Indians who saw it 
before us. 



PERPETUAL ICE UNDER LAVA 



57 




NATURAL HISTORY, JUNE, 1 936 



Perpetual 

Ice 

Under Lava 



(Left) A bank of solid ice in a tunnel o) 
what once was molten stone: a natural 
"ice-box" in New Mexico 



(Right) The entrance to the chamber 
containing the ice. The air here on a sum- 
mer's day is suffocatingly hot 



The wall of ice is mild aquamarine in 
color, from 12 to 14 feet in height, and 
some 50 feet in width 




All photos f 




PERPETUAL ICE UNDER LAVA 



59 




(Left) Maji Moto Camp in Tan- 
ganyika Territory at the foot of the 
Great Rift Wall: the base from 
which the expedition studied the 
animals of Africa in the interests 
of medical science 



(Next below) The hut that' was 
used as a laboratory. Native huts 
rather than tents were used to 
shelter the expedition. The one 
shown in this photograph boasted 
running water supplied by the tank 
at the left 




(Above) Mbulu natives. This tribe 
lived some four hours' march from 
camp, on the Rift plateau 



(Left) A young female Thomson's 
gazelle captured on the plain ad- 
jacent to Lake Manyara. This ani- 
mal became very friendly and was 
a great pet of the expedition 



60 



NATURAL HISTORY, JUNE, 1 93 6 



A Safari with a New Objective 

An African expedition to search for physiological ex- 
planations of temperamental differences in animals and new 
knowledge on human glandular disorders 



By George Crile 

and 

Daniel P. Quiring 

An expedition to Africa sponsored by 
the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and 
the Cleveland Museum of Natural His- 
tory was organized in the winter and spring of 
1935, the members of the expedition leaving 
in the fall of that year. 

Two members of the group, Dr. and Mrs. 
George Crile, travelled by airplane from Lon- 
don to Moshi in Tanganyika Territory and 
at Arusha, joined Mr. Arthur B. Fuller of the 
Cleveland Museum of Natural History and 
Dr. Daniel P. Quiring of Western Reserve 
University, who had travelled by boat from 
London to Mombasa. 

The new objective 
In preliminary studies on the size relation- 
ships of the brain, thyroid and adrenal gland, 
made by the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and 
the Cleveland Museum of Natural History in 
the United States, a disturbing factor had been 
encountered which vitiated much of the data. 
This was the presence of enlarged thyroid 
glands in many of the domestic animals and in 
animals secured from zoos. It was imperative, 
therefore, if the research were to be continued, 
to carry on the study in animals not afflicted 
by goiter or by the abnormal conditions im- 
posed by man. This was the task with which 
the expedition was concerned. The richest ter- 
ritory in the world as far as abundance and 
variety of animal life are concerned is in 



Africa in the vicinity of the great crater of 
Ngorongoro. Tin's area, therefore, seemed to 
offer us the greatest opportunity for the fur- 
therance of our research. 

The selected site was a camp called Maji 
Moto some ninety miles west of Arusha in 
Tanganyika territory. This camp lies at the 
base of the high west escarpment of the Rift 
Valley about sixty miles from the great crater 
of Ngorongoro. It was ideal for our purpose 
since a great deposit of volcanic ash, the trop- 
ical sun, the abundant rainfall and the vicinity 
of Lake Manyara, a great soda lake, produced 
an abundance of plants and trees and hence of 
animal life. 

Among the great animals 

On one side of us was dense bush in which 
were many rhinoceros and buffalo; on another, 
swamp and lake in which the hippopotamus 
makes its home ; at the foot of the escarpment 
was a great mimosa forest in which were herds 
of elephants and several species of monkeys. 
Between the forest and lake was a grassy plain 
on which zebra, impalla, kongoni, wildebeest 
and other herbivorous animals grazed. Feed- 
ing on these herbivora were the carnivora — 
lion, leopard, hyena and jackal. Various species 
of smaller cats (serval, genet and civet) found 
shelter in the forest, and all around and above 
us, especially in the vicinity of Lake Manyara 
was a great variety of bird life including vast 
numbers of European storks and unbelievably 
large gatherings of flamingoes. Locusts and 
other insects on the grassy plain gave sus- 
tenance to the abundant bird life. 



A SAFARI WITH A NEW OBJECTIVE 



6l 



Here we set up our laboratory and estab- 
lished ourselves for almost two months of 
intensive work. The native type of hut was 
used for the laboratory and for shelter as 
well as for the camp. The birds and smaller 
animals which could be easily transported 
were dissected in the laboratory, but the 
larger animals — lion, hippopotamus, rhinoc- 
eros, elephant, etc., were dissected where they 
fell, the various glands and tissues being 
taken to the laboratory for preservation and 
packing. Some of the smaller animals were 
embalmed and sent back to our laboratory at 
the Cleveland Clinic Foundation to be dis- 
sected there. 

Many specimens 

Representatives of all the true vertebrate 
classes with the exception of amphibia were 
obtained. Of a total of 220 animals, 108 dis- 
sections involving the eyes, the thyroid gland, 
the adrenal-autonomic complex, the brain, 
heart, lungs, liver and kidneys were made in 
the field. All these organs were weighed and 
examined before they were packed for ship- 
ment, and in addition in a number of animals, 
gastro-intestinal, muscular and skeletal weights 
were determined also. 

The dissected animals included fishes, tur- 
tles, lizards, birds, rodents, carnivora, peris- 
sodactyls, artiodactyls, one proboscidian, hy- 
rax, and primates. In addition to these speci- 
mens, 118 bird skins were preserved and a 
chimpanzee, a baboon, two gray monkeys, two 
vervets and two snakes — a python and a green 
mamba — were embalmed for dissection in 
Cleveland. A large amount of skeletal material 
was saved. In some instances, only the skull 
and the skin mantles were preserved ; in others, 
the entire skeleton and skin were kept. 

Back of the purpose of the expedition al- 
ready briefly stated, lies the following general 
thesis: 

Man seems to be peculiarly susceptible to 
certain pathological disturbances affecting the 
nervous system and the endocrine glands, dis- 
eases which are generally unknown in the 
other vertebrates. The question presents itself 
therefore as to whether these disturbances 
might be explained on the basis of possible 
structural differences between the nervous and 
endocrine mechanism of man and of the re- 
maining backboned animals, or whether they 
might simply be caused by man's subjection to 



a set of conditions to which as yet he has not 
become biologically adapted. Closely associated 
with this question a further one arises, namely, 
if structural differences exist in the endocrine- 
autonomic mechanism of man as compared 
with various animals, might this be the cause 
of the difference in activity patterns of the 
various animals, since the endocrine-nervous 
mechanism governs energy expenditure. 

With the general acceptance of the theory 
of evolution, the medical and biological profes- 
sions generally have stressed relationships be- 
tween the various vertebrate classes, including 
man as a member of the primates. But a result 
of this tendency has been the overlooking or 
underemphasizing of certain other marked dif- 
ferences between man and his fellow creatures. 
The anatomist is aware that man possesses a 
relatively large brain, which expresses itself 
in superior intelligence, but he is often so 
fascinated by his study of structure, by the 
beauty of the story which unfolds itself when 
he proceeds from the evolutionary point of 
view, that he too commonly fails to consider 
man as a distinct problem. He does not gen- 
erally look upon the organism as a dynamic 
energy-spending system in which the skeletal- 
muscular machine requires also an energy-lib- 
erating mechanism for its successful self-main- 
tenance. While function is the true province 
of the physiologist, the necessary restrictions 
which his special field place upon him may 
make him generally oblivious to some of the 
unique characteristics of man or to the organ- 
ism as a dynamic system whose various func- 
tions may be resolved into one great function — 
the employment and the liberation of energy. 



The role of the thyroid 

The thyroid gland governs the metabolic 
rate of an animal. In a highly active animal 
one would expect a correlation between thyroid 
size and bodily activity. But this is not a simple 
relationship, as becomes evident when an ad- 
ditional factor is considered, namely, body 
surface, which determines to a large measure 
the amount of energy lost as heat. In addition, 
the thyroid has a definite effect in sensitizing 
the body to adrenalin, so that the evaluation 
of the interrelationship of the thyroid and 
adrenal becomes necessary to an understand- 
ing of the true role of the thyroid in the body 
mechanism. Its secretion, thyroxin, is a definite 



62 



NATURAL HISTORY, JUNE, 1 93 6 



requisite for orderly body growth and normal 
mental development. 

The adrenal glands have been called emer- 
gency glands since they supply the energy to 
meet sudden emergencies. This response is due 
to the activity of the medulla of the gland,* 
which secretes adrenalin under stimulation of 
the sympathetic system. The stimulation origi- 
nates commonly in the sensory organs, al- 
though internal states may initiate its activity. 
One might expect a relatively large medulla 
in animals which are confronted with frequent 
emergencies and which depend upon sudden 
outbursts of energy for attack or escape. 

It seemed desirable to examine this thesis 
by subjecting a wide range of animals to dis- 
section and evaluation of these particular sys- 
tems. Since such differences exist, they might 
well express themselves in relative differences 
in the weight of the glands or in the degree of 
complexity of their innervation, i.e., in the 
autonomic system, or in structural differences. 
Differences in the potency of secretions in the 
absence of differences in size or complexity are, 
of course, not excluded. 

A remarkable ratio in man 

The earlier studies referred to above had 
pointed definitely to differences in the relative 
sizes of the thyroid, adrenal and brain and in 
the complexity of the autonomic innervation of 
the adrenals in various animals. For instance, 
an examination of some 600 animals disclosed 
that the ratio of the adrenal to the thyroid 
weights in the rodents ranged from 2:1 to 
12:1. In the carnivora, this ratio of adrenal 
to thyroid weight was i}^:i to 2:1. In the 
birds, the ratio of adrenal to thyroid weight 
was approximately 1.25:1 and in the primates 
generally the ratio ran from iJ4:i to 6:1. It 
was only in man that a converse relationship 
was discovered, for in man alone the thyroid 
exceeds the adrenal in size. This relative size 
is expressed by the remarkable ratio of adrenal 
to thyroid weight of 1 12.4. 

A microscopic examination and an evalua- 
tion of sections of the adrenal glands of the 
alligator, the lion and of man showed that in 
the alligator, medullary tissue makes up about 
6.69 per cent of the gland while in the human 
adrenal the medulla makes up approximately 



' The cortex of the gland 



another function. 



14.10 per cent, and in the lion the medulla 
makes up approximately 24.32 per cent of the 
gland.* Thus, if approximately 24 per cent 
of the lion's adrenal consists of medulla, the 
ratio of adrenal medulla to body weight in 
this animal would be as I 122,565 in an animal 
weighing 190.85 Kg. with an adrenal weight 
of 34.64 grams. In a human being weighing 
65 Kg. with an adrenal weight of 10.7 grams, 
the ratio of adrenal medulla to body weight 
is 1 154,805. In an alligator of 109 Kg. with 
adrenal glands weighing 5.8 grams this ratio 
becomes 1:280,951. While these studies were 
made on single glands, in each case histologic 
examinations of adrenal bodies from other 
lions, human beings and alligators, indicate 
that the lion generally contains a considerably 
larger amount of adrenal medullary tissue 
than does the human and certainly a vastly 
greater amount than does the alligator. 

This, then, is the general outline of the 
thesis on which our investigation proceeded, 
together with a few of the provocative find- 
ings which made this African expedition such 
a promising adventure. It is not the purpose 
of this paper to present a detailed report of 
our African findings. The data are now in the 
process of being evaluated and will, it is hoped, 
be made available in due time. 



Tentative conclusions 

Sufficient regularity appears in our findings, 
however, to warrant some tentative conclu- 
sions; fuller scrutiny of the material is re- 
quired to appreciate certain implications in the 
weight and dissectional data. The specific dif- 
ference in the thyroid-adrenal ratio and in the 
thyroid-body ratio which appeared to exist in 
man as compared with other animals on the 
basis of our earlier work in the United States, 
has been confirmed so that it may be stated 
definitely, we believe, that man stands in a 
unique position with reference to these rela- 
tionships. A further tentative conclusion is that 
the gross size of the adrenal body seems to be 
a function of the body mass but that the size of 
the medulla is further governed by the activity 
pattern of the animal or, conversely, the physi- 
cal activity pattern of the vertebrate body is 
determined by the mass of the adrenal medulla. 
A further fact which stands out is the marked 

* These figures are based on approximations made with 
a planimeter upon sectioned glands. 



A SAFARI WITH A NEW OBJECTIVE 



63 



difference in the complexity of the innervation 
of the adrenal body and the adrenal-autonomic 
complex in various animals. There is, of course, 
a definite evolution of the adrenal body and 
the autonomic system when one passes from the 
fish and the reptile to the mammals. Within 
the individual classes of vertebrates, however, 
marked differences in the degree of develop- 
ment of the gland and of the autonomic system 
occur. 

We return to the question of whether 
man's peculiar pathological disturbances are 
determined by the unique relationships which 
exist between his thyroid gland and his body. 
To this one may answer that since this differ- 
ence does exist between man and other verte- 
brates and since this gland does play the 
central role in body metabolism, it is reason- 
able to suppose that its frequent hyperactivity 
resulting in a variety of pathologic states may 
be due to its unique size relationship. This 
view receives additional support when it is 
considered in relation to man's peculiar biolog- 
ical mode of life and when the inter-play of 
the adrenal and thyroid glands is considered. 

Activity pattern of animals 

The further question which is naturally 
raised by our initial hypothesis is : May we 
ascribe differences in the activity-pattern of 
animals to specific differences in the degree of 
development of the thyroid gland, the adrenal 
body and the autonomic system? This may be 
answered affirmatively, we believe, on the basis 
of the mass of evidence which has accumulated 
in the past few years on the central role of 
the adrenal and the autonomic system in 
stepping-up the rate of energy expenditure, as 
well as on the basis of the body of evidence 
we are accumulating with reference to the 
changes in medullary size correlated generally 
with physical activity. 

We cannot omit a word of appreciation 



for the kind of cooperation given us by 
his Excellency Sir Harold McMichael, the 
Governor of Tanganyika Territory and his 
Staff as well as to Captain P. C. Hallier, 
Provincial Commissioner with headquarters in 
Arusha, and Captain P. Teare, Chief Game 
Warden for the district. 

His Excellency, the Governor, granted us 
special permits which enabled us to secure a 
number of specimens which are ordinarily 
protected. On the basis of their extended ex- 
periences in the territory, the provincial Com- 
missioner, P. C. Hallier and the Game 
Warden Captain Teare gave us much valuable 
information concerning the habits and the lo- 
cation of some of the animals we desired to 
secure. 

We are indebted also to his Excellency 
P. Enen Mitchell, the Governor of Uganda 
Protectorate, for his kindness in granting us 
special permits to secure a pair of chimpanzees 
in the Protectorate. District Officer James at 
Massindi in Uganda Protectorate too was 
most helpful in aiding us in the completion of 
the necessary arrangements for the safari in 
the search for chimpanzees. Captain R. Sal- 
mon, Game Warden for that area also lent 
us the benefit of his experiences and if it 
had not been for these individuals, it is 
doubtful whether we could have secured our 
chimpanzees. 

Captain J. R. H. Hewlett acted as our 
professional hunter and guide. Captain Hew- 
lett, who has his headquarters at Moshi in 
Tanganyika Territory, knows the country and 
the game animals well. He was indefatigable 
in his efforts to make our expedition a success. 
The members of the expedition are unanimous 
in their feeling that one of the chief factors 
which made our safari such a pleasant and suc- 
cessful experience were the efforts of this fine 
personality. It is our unanimous hope that we 
may meet and work again with Captain 
Hewlett. 



64 



NATURAL HISTORY, JUNE, 1 936 



Outposts of Baja California 

TDesert islands where a vanishing fauna is making a 
valiant struggle to survive 



By Joseph R. Slevin 

Curator of Herpetology, 
California Academy of Sciences 

OFF the coast of Baja California lie a 
number of islands and islets harboring 
a vanishing fauna. The northernmost 
of these, Los Coronados Islets, are not far 
from the southern border of the United States. 
Others are scattered along the shore to the 
southward as far as Santa Margarita Island, 
and one group, the Revillagigedo Islands, lie 
almost 400 miles southwest of the tip of the 
peninsula. 

History 

It is from the missionaries that we get much 
of the early history of these islands. The 
records show that as early as 1732 Father 
Taraval, after a wandering journey of some 
six days from San Ignacio, came upon a great 
bight in the coastline of Baja California, which 
he named Bahia San Xavier. From this site he 
made out two islands six or seven leagues off 
shore, and with the aid of the Indians Father 
Taraval constructed a raft on which he 
reached them. 

The nearer one, Natividad, he named 
Afuega, or Island of Birds, because of the 
great number of sea birds he found, the only 
living things he saw on the island. The fur- 
ther island, Cedros, discovered by Francisco 
Ulloa in 1539, was known as the Island of 
Fogs. Climbing a high mountain on this island 
Father Taraval saw to the westward the San 
Benito Islands, and far to the northward an- 
other island, which was undoubtedly Guada- 
lupe. 

For the naturalist who is partial to the des- 
ert these islands are particularly attractive, 



their fauna and flora being so characteristic 
of it. Unfortunately most of those who have 
been lucky enough to visit them have lacked 
adequate time for study and exploration. 

Although mostly insignificant in size, and 
with one or two exceptions harboring no spec- 
tacular animal life, these islands are a never- 
ending source of interest to the naturalist. A 
commercial world, however, which unfortu- 
nately knows naught but of dollars and cents 
and cares nothing for the future, has practically 
exterminated the fur seal, the sea otter, and 
the elephant seal. Only strict government pro- 
tection and supervision can save what is left. 
The Mexican Government now has laws pro- 
tecting the fur-bearing animals and the sea 
elephants, so that there is fortunately some 
hope of their surviving. 

A tale of destruction 

For the near, and in some cases complete, 
extermination of the land birds it is principally 
the commercial fisherman we have to thank. 
In order to facilitate their work the fishermen, 
especially those collecting the abalone, a valu- 
able shell-fish, establish camps ashore, some 
of which are quite temporary. The custom has 
been to have a camp cat or two, and when the 
camp was abandoned these cats were left to run 
wild. Needless to say, having nobody to feed 
them, they resorted to hunting for their food, 
the small land birds being the first to go. Mr. 
A. W. Anthony, well-known ornithologist of 
the Pacific Coast, who became acquainted with 
the islands in 1887, found that on the San 
Benito Islands McGregor's house finch (Car- 
podecus megregori) had become almost extinct 
in a period of twenty-five years. 

Guadalupe Island has been called a biologi- 



OUTPOSTS OF BAJA CALIFORNIA 



65 



cal sepulcher and is a shining example of what 
can happen when domestic animals are intro- 
duced and allowed to run wild. Formerly the 
home of numerous small land birds and de- 
scribed as a paradise by Edward Palmer, the 
first naturalist to visit it, the island now har- 
bors only a remnant of what there used to be. 
The flicker, towhee, kinglet, crossbill, and 
Guadalupe wren have already been extermi- 
nated not to mention the Guadalupe caracara. 
The goat herders can rightfully be charged 
with the extermination of the latter bird. 
Claiming that it attacked the young kids, the 
herders methodically shot the birds as they 
gathered about the water holes ; and it was 
not long before the Guadalupe caracara went 
the way of the great auk and the passenger 
pigeon. The Guadalupe petrel fell an early 
victim to the cats. The animals had only to 
wait at the mouth of a burrow for the bird to 
emerge bound for its feeding grounds on the 
high seas. Thus it was that this one-time para- 
dise came to an end. 

It is reported that many years ago a whaler, 
following a common custom of the early mari- 
ners, left some goats on Guadalupe Island in 
order to enable subsequent visitors to obtain 
fresh meat. While in some cases this may have 
been the means of saving shipwrecked sailors, 
it led to the destruction of the foliage, and it 
might be said in some cases to the island itself. 

Death to vegetation 

On Guadalupe the goats increased to such an 
extent that by about 1887 concessionaires were 
shipping to the mainland some 15,000 goat 
skins a year. They and many others later, 
found it to be unprofitable, however, and the 
goats ran unmolested, occasional droughts be- 
ing their worst enemy. They have extermi- 
nated many species of plants, and only those 
which grow on sheer precipices will survive 
for any length of time. The scant forests of 
oaks, pines and cypress, on the tops of the 
northern ridges, must in time disappear. Natu- 
ral causes, such as old age, storms, etc., will 
account for the disappearance of some of the 
trees but the goats in the end will take care of 
the rest. Even now they have the bark chewed 
off wherever it is within reach. No seedling is 
allowed to survive, and no acorn will ever 
mature. Thus the disappearance of the Guada- 
lupe forests is inevitable. 



About the year 1880 the Guadalupe fur 
seal {Arctocephalus townsendi) was extermi- 
nated as far as commercial hunting was con- 
cerned and for years afterwards the animals 
were considered extinct. It therefore created 
considerable excitement among naturalists 
when, in 1928, two fur seals were brought 
from Guadalupe to San Diego by some local 
fishermen. It is evident that a small remnant 
of the herd had escaped the slaughter and had 
hidden away in inaccessible caves unknown to 
the sealers and poachers. 

About the south end of the island may still 
be seen the remains of stone huts built by the 
sealers, and driveways up which the animals 
were driven to the slaughtering ground. The 
rocks that were polished by countless numbers 
of seals passing over them in bygone ages are 
distinguishable, and even the pegs driven into 
the ground to set taut the skins for drying are 
still in evidence, mute reminders of the hardy 
adventurers of early days. 

Home of the sea elephant 

By far the most spectacular animal of the 
Baja California outposts is the sea elephant, 
or elephant seal, as it is sometimes called, a 
huge animal weighing several tons and reach- 
ing a length of twenty-two feet. These ani- 
mals fell before the onslaught of the whalers 
who prized them highly for the oil obtained, 
and like the fur seal they were hunted until 
the exploitation was no longer profitable. 
These creatures fared somewhat better than 
the fur seal, however, and today there is a 
fair-sized herd (some 500 or more animals) 
making their home on a sand beach at the 
northwest end of Guadalupe Island, where 
they are protected by towering cliffs which 
make it impossible to reach them from the 
land side. As this shore has the whole Pacific 
Ocean to beat on it, it is only on the finest 
and calmest days that a landing can be made. 
This, coupled with the fact that the Mexican 
Government has passed stringent laws protect- 
ing the herd, may enable it to increase in years 
to come, so that it may once again reach its 
former state. 

Cedros Island, one of the largest of the 
coastal islands, is nearly 21 miles in length and 
rises to a height of 3959 feet at the northern 
end. It is rapidly sharing the fate of Guada- 
lupe. The abalone fishermen have found it a 
fertile fishing ground and have established a 



66 



NATURAL HISTORY, JUNE, 1 93 6 



camp at the southern end as their headquar- 
ters. To furnish fuel for boiling the abalones 
before drying them they have stripped the 
nearby canyons of vegetation and in their 
boats have gone farther afield, touching all 
the canyons along the eastern shore, and cut- 
ting out all the small trees. Where there were 
once picturesque little canyons spotted with 
juniper trees, which gave shelter to the native 
deer, there is nothing left but desolate rocky 
dry washes, where even a horned toad would 
have difficulty in finding a shady spot to escape 
the heat of the noonday sun. 

Slaughter of deer 

Serious inroads have been made on the deer 
to furnish meat for the abalone camp. The 
few that have escaped the slaughter hide out 
on the steep slopes of the northwest end, where 
a scattering of brush and trees furnishes a 
meager shelter. Owing to the fact that it is a 
long hard pull back to camp the few remain- 
ing animals may be saved for the time being; 
but it may be only a question of a compara- 
tively short time before their doom is sealed. 

Bird life is somewhat scarce on Cedros. 
Say's flycatcher, large-billed sparrow, desert 
sparrow, Costa's hummingbird and a few 
other species are represented. All visiting orni- 
thologists have remarked about the scarcity 
and wildness of the small land birds on this 
barren and windswept island. 

Leaving the coast islands and heading south- 
westward from Cabo San Lucas, the southern- 
most point of Baja California, we find two 
interesting islands, Socorro and Clarion, of the 
Revillagigedos. Socorro, the largest of the 
group, is a mountain peak rising out of the sea 
to an elevation of 3500 feet and visible at a 
distance of seventy miles. Its inhospitable shores 
must be approached with care as anchorages 
are poor and the winds at times strong and 
uncertain. The lower levels of the island are 
densely overgrown with brush, making travel- 
ing an arduous task. A casual observation from 
the deck of a vessel gives the traveler no idea 
what he must encounter before reaching the 
summit. Socorro shows signs of volcanic ac- 
tivity, and just below the summit are blow- 
holes from which steam escapes in small 
clouds, and hot mud flows from miniature 
craters. 

Fortunately Socorro has not been used for 
fishing camps and a most interesting bird 



population remains there; but now that com- 
mercial fishermen are going far afield for their 
fishing grounds it will only be a question t>i 
time before it meets the fate of all the coastal 
islands. The usual shore birds, such as the 
yellow-crowned night heron and the wander- 
ing tattler may be found commonly about the 
rocky beaches, but to see the bird life in all 
its variety one must climb the mountainside 
beyond the rank growth of brush. There the 
traveler emerges into a tree belt that any 
ornithologist would give worlds to visit. Here 
may be found large flocks of the beautiful 
Socorro paraquet feeding on the fruits of 
the native trees, or equally large flocks of the 
Socorro mourning dove, fearless at the ap- 
proach of man as it walks about the ground. 
The Socorro red-tailed hawk may be seen soar- 
ing overhead as it searches for its prey. In 
short, pencil and notebook must constantly be 
in use in this ornithologist's paradise. 

A bird of the lower levels is the Socorro elf 
owl (Micropallas graysoni) , which as its 
name suggests is a pigmy among owls. It bears 
the name graysoni after Colonel Andrew J. 
Grayson, who, in the year 1867, made a pri- 
vate expedition to the Revillagigedo Islands 
and lost his vessel on the south coast of Socorro 
at a spot now known as Grayson's Cove, a 
small indentation in the coastline of Corn- 
wallis Bay. In 1925 some of the dried out 
planks of his vessel, then worn almost to the 
thinness of shingles, were found on the rocky 
beach by the Expedition of the California 
Academy of Sciences to the Revillagigedo Is- 
lands on board the 1755 Ortolan, M. M. Nel- 
son, Lieutenant, U. S. Navy, Commanding. 

A life-saving spring 

On reaching shore from the wreck Colonel 
Grayson's first thought was of water, the lack 
of which is the dread of every mariner un- 
fortunate enough to be shipwrecked on these 
inhospitable shores. By good fortune a mem- 
ber of his crew discovered a small stream of 
water gushing out of a seam in the rocky 
cliffs. It is partly concealed by a pile of boul- 
ders, and covered by the sea at high tide, thus 
making it very difficult to find. It would no 
doubt have been taken for tide water were it 
not for the fact that the birds were seen drink- 
ing from it. This spring would be the only sal- 
vation for the shipwrecked mariner, at least in 



OUTPOSTS OF BAJA CALIFORNIA 



67 



the dry season, and it is so well concealed that 
since Grayson's discovery it had escaped de- 
tection until the Academy's expedition of 1925. 
Before leaving on this expedition Colonel 
Grayson's account of his trip was consulted, 
and the spring was found just as he had de- 
scribed it. This all-important discovery was 
made known to the United States Hydro- 
graphic Office, so that future Coast Pilots, or 
supplements, may contain this information. In 
order to facilitate locating the spring a large 
W, filled with white cement, was carved in 
the rock, with an arrow pointing to the water 
and an inscription. 

Fortunately for Colonel Grayson he "picked" 
a particularly nice place to be wrecked, for 
aside from having the spring at hand, the back 
of the beach was covered with a thick growth 
of trees, giving both shade and firewood. If he 
had tried all the beaches on the island he could 
not have found a better one. The adjacent 
waters abound in fish and there are plenty of 
sheep, in a half-wild state, scattered over the 
island from the seashore clear to the summit. 

The original stock is said to have been placed 
on the island, in 1869, by John Smith, who 
obtained authority from the Mexican Govern- 
ment to make use of it as a commercial ven- 
ture. He also introduced some twenty-five head 
of cattle, but most of these died and the re- 
mainder were killed for meat. The sheep 
fared better and multiplied considerably, not- 
withstanding the intense heat and the rough 
character of the country. 



Isolated island fares better 

Less visited than Socorro on account of its 
isolated position some two hundred and four- 
teen miles to the westward is Clarion Island. 
Although much smaller than Socorro it is in- 
teresting because it is seldom visited and the 
fauna and flora still remain in their natural 
state. The tameness of the birds reminds one of 
the far-off Galapagos. The little ground owls 
can be approached and chucked under the chin 
without their showing the slightest fear. 

Great numbers of sea birds make Clarion a 
nesting site, and boobies, frigate birds, tropic 
birds, and the usual shore birds, such as cur- 
lew plovers, turnstones and great blue herons, 
are found along the coastline. One striking 
feature of the fauna of the island is a large 
reddish-brown snake (Coluber anthonyi) re- 



sembling the red racer of our southern deserts. 
They are found abundantly about the Opuntia. 
patches, and it may be safe to say that Clarion 
Island is one place where you can go ashore 
and be sure of finding plenty of snakes. How 
they reached the island is a problem yet to be 
solved. It is a significant fact, however, that 
no snakes have ever been found on the neigh- 
boring island of Socorro, much nearer to the 
mainland. 

Every visitor to Clarion remarks about the 
wonderful growth of cactus covering the 
southern slopes of the island. A great carpet 
of Opuntia spreads over the landscape and it 
is only in the thinner areas that it is possible 
to get through, and then only with the aid of 
a machete. To make things more interesting 
the top of the cactus growth is covered in 
many places with a carpet of morning-glory 
vines, forming an impenetrable tangle. The 
northern slopes of the island offer quite a dif- 
ferent aspect, being fairly open and covered 
here and there with patches of long grass. In 
these nest thousands of Townsend's shear- 
waters (Puffinus auricularis), their burrows 
honeycombing the hillside so that in certain 
areas walking is somewhat of a problem. 

Wild life demands protection 

Now that fishing vessels go great distances 
out to sea in quest of the deep sea fishes it 
may only be a question of time before Clarion 
meets the fate of the coastal islands. Only its 
poor anchorage and the lack of suitable land- 
ing places may help to postpone the destruc- 
tion of this interesting fauna. Sulphur Bay, 
the only anchorage, is an open roadstead and 
affords poor shelter, being exposed to all 
southerly winds. The landing place, in a 
small cove to the westward, is dangerous even 
in calm weather on account of the unexpected 
swells that roll in from an apparently calm 
sea, and a vessel may anchor for days, or even 
weeks, without being able to put a landing 
party ashore. 

If the Government of Mexico can enforce 
the laws protecting the wild life of these 
islands there may be some hope of saving the 
fur seal and the sea elephant from extinction ; 
but the land birds will have a difficult time to 
survive. The disappearance of the wild life of 
any land is regrettable, and it is slowly but 
surely happening here. 



68 



NATURAL HISTORY, JUNE, 1 93 6 



Outposts of Baja California 



■;^l*ffU>^ '-H- 




(Above) A scene on barren, windswept 
Cedros Island, one of the "outposts" off 
the coast of Mexico. At the top of the 
ridge can be seen a Straggling pine forest, 
while below it is a scattering of dwarf 
juniper trees 



The above photograph shows a 
grotesque elephant tree which 
stands as a sentinel on a rocky 
promontory of Cedros. The 
beautiful pink flowers of these 
trees when in bloom lend almost 
the only touch of color to the 
island 

(Right) Frigate birds are abun- 
dant on many of Baja Cali- 
fornia's outposts and San Bene- 
dicto Island is no exception. The 
inflated crimson pouches of the 
males on the nests make the 
ground appear as though cov- 
ered with a great red blanket 



OUTPOSTS OF BAJA CALIFORNIA 



6 9 




A herd of sea lions on the 
San Benito Islands. For- 
merly the sea elephant, sea 
otter, and fur seal made 
these three small rocky 
islands their home, but the 
fur bearers are gone and 
all that remain are the sea 
lions and occasionally a 
few visiting sea elephants 
from the Guadalupe herd 
{Photo by W. Chas. 
Swett, Courtesy of the G. 
Allan Hancock Expedi- 
tions) 



{Right) Drying abalones on West San Benito 
Island. The use of diving suits by the Japa- 
nese fishermen and the indiscriminate gather- 
ing of the abalone, regardless of size, will in 
time result in its destruction 

Photos by G. Dallas Hanna. 
California Academy of Sciences 

{Below) Where the sealers once carried on 
their trade: at Melpomene Cove, Guadalupe 
Island. The derelict dory shown in this pic- 
ture might tell a story if it could speak, but 
nothing was found to indicate from where it 
had come 







£8?» 




70 



NATURAL HISTORY, JUNE, 1936 





// is possible to walk amongst the sea ele- 
phants at Guadalupe Island without disturb- 
ing them in the least — after you have landed. 
But natural obstacles make this beach well- 
nigh inaccessible {Photo by II'. Chas. Swett, 
Courtesy of G. Allan Hancock Expeditions) 



{Left) The sea elephant knows how to relax, 

and although this one may appear lifeless. 
such is by no means the case 



Photo by C. Dallas Ha 
California Academy of Sa 



{Right) The head of a bask- 
ing sea elephant: not a thing 
of beauty but a curious look- 
ing creature to say the least 
{Photo by W. Chas. Swett, 
Courtesy of G. Allan Han- 
cock Expeditions) 




OUTPOSTS OF BAJA CALIFORNIA 



"*■"■!■■■ 



71 





(Below) The cement plaque left by the U.S.S. 

Ortolan to direct mariners in emergency to 

the spring 

{Lower right) Monument Rock, one of the 

prominent landmarks off the coast of Clarion. 

Island 



(Above) Cabo San Lucas, at 
the southern tip of Baja Cali- 
fornia, is a famous headland and 
a useful landmark for all pass- 
ing vessels 

(Left) Grayson's Cove on 
Clarion Island where a spring 
of fresh water saved the lives of 
Colonel Grayson and his crew 
when shipwrecked a half cen- 
tury ago 



Photos by G. Dallas Hanna, 
California Academy of Sciences 





NATURAL HISTORY, JUNE, 1936 




{Above) Sea elephants under 
observation on the beach of San 
Benito Islands. The sea elephant 
is the most spectacular animal 
of these outpost islands. The 
M exican Government's strin- 
gent laws may enable it to in- 
crease to its former abundance 



{Above) A large bull sea elephant poses for his portrait. 
These creatures weigh several tons and reach a length of 
twenty-two feet 



OUTPOSTS OF BAJA CALIFORNIA 



73 



Two Scenes at Fallodon 




(Above) The larger of the two ponds on 
the estate of the late Lord Grey, where over 
twenty species of ivild ducks make their 
home. 

In the lower picture Lord Grey is seen 
seated at the side of this pond feeding an 
American canvasback, one of a brood of 
birds hatched at the pond-side, which after 



an absence of seventeen months returned 
and fed from his hand the day of its arrival. 
From this side one looks across the pond to 
Fallodon as shown in the upper picture. 

These two photographs are reproduced 
from an article by Lord Grey in the Sep- 
tember-October, 1932, issue of Natural 
History 




74 



NATURAL HISTORY, JUNE, 1 93 6 



Memorials to Lord Grey 

Plans to perpetuate the ideals of a man who strove for 
international harmony and a broader appreciation of Nature 



The General Committee of 69 formed 
in England to create a memorial to the 
late Viscount Grey of Fallodon has is- 
sued an appeal for support which, in a few 
words, admirably states its objects. It reads: 

"Lord Grey is remembered as the states- 
man who fought so long and so hard the los- 
ing battle for European peace ; and who, amid 
the blinding passions of war, with failing 
health and eyesight, never lost his mental 
vision of two main principles of his practical 
idealism, the necessity of friendship between 
the British Empire and the United States, and 
the necessity of some collective security for 
future peace, which from the first he strove to 
see embodied in a League of Nations. 

"He is remembered also as the lover of 
nature. In writings that combine the poetry 
and the science of bird observation, he has 
taught many to find the purest and most last- 
ing joj's of mind and heart. 

In public and private life 

"Yet the two aspects of his life are not to 
be dissociated. If the strength, integrity and 
simplicity of his character made him for 
eleven years the notable representative of his 
country before the world as Foreign Secre- 
tary, and helped to give to the British Empire 
and her Allies confidence and unity at the su- 
preme crisis of fate, these qualities were drawn 
from the same well-springs of old English ru- 
ral life which inspired him as a countryman, a 
naturalist and an author. 

"We therefore propose to erect to his mem- 
ory a threefold memorial : 

"1. To set up a statue or bust in a central spot in 
London. 



"2. To acquire and make over to the National g^' a^nts Z^liZTr i KSffl t £l£ 



Trust 'Ross Castle', the small hill-top crowned by 
an ancient earthwork which adjoins Chillingham 
Park in Northumberland, a favourite view-point of 
Lord Grey's which he often visited from Fallodon. 
"3. To develop (by further endowment and other- 
wise) the existing scheme of research maintained 
by the British Trust for Ornithology at Oxford, of 
which University he was an undergraduate and 
in later years the Chancellor, to form a permanent 
Institute of Bird Studies, to which his name would 
be attached."* 

The bond among nature-lovers 

It is the last-named object that will most 
strongly appeal to those who will welcome 
an opportunity to pay their tribute to the 
memory of Lord Grey. Busts and "National 
Trusts" have their places, but this plan to 
form a living memorial which, we may as- 
sume, would not only increase our knowledge 
of birds but would aid in promoting that rela- 
tion between birds and man, the value of 
which was so eloquently demonstrated by 
Lord Grey himself, transcends in its impor- 
tance all national bounds and concerns nature- 
lovers throughout the world. We can readily 
imagine bird students of other nations seeking 
instruction at Oxford, and as the success of the 
"Edward Grey Institute of Bird Studies" be- 
comes apparent, who can doubt that similar 
Institutes will become a part of other centers 
of learning? Here is the foundation of a 
League of Nations which might assure at least 
a bird protection under whatever flag it hap- 
pened to find itself. 

It may also be assumed that among the 
textbooks used by this proposed Institute a 
high place would be accorded Lord Grey's 
"Charm of Birds." While this work is dedi- 

* Subscriptions to the memorial fund payable to J. P. 
Morgan & Company, may be sent to that firm at 23 Wall 
Street, New York City, who will remit them to the Barclay 



MEMORIALS TO LORD GREY 



75 



cated chiefly to English passerine birds, their 
appearance and personalities, their place in 
nature and in literature, their association with 
the seasons, and especially their voices, it also 
records, with convincing enjoyment and whole- 
some sentiment, the value of birds as an ex- 
pression of their environment. 

Read, for example, what the "robust, buoy- 
ant" song of the chaffinch meant to its author. 
"If the chaffinch were human," he writes, 
"one can imagine that he would say 'Cheerio!' 
as a greeting to a friend. . . . One chaffinch 
stands out in my memory as does a single dip- 
per and a single wren. It was in the Whit- 
suntide recess, when for a few precious days 
late in May or early in June I had escaped 
from Parliament and from London, whose 
'season' is then so miserably unseasonable. The 
days were fine and bright. On a stone coping 
of a little parapet, that went around the roof 
at Fallodon, at a corner that faced due south, 
a chaffinch used to take its stand, and from 
that eminence pelted me with song whenever 
I went on the lawn outside. This one bird be- 
came a feature of the holiday, an embodiment 
of happiness proclaimed from the housetop. 
. . . For me the immortal spirit of those 
happy Whitsuntide days still lingers in the 
song of the chaffinch." 

The whole book abounds in similar re- 
sponses to the song and personality of birds. I 
quote once more to show how varied and far- 



reaching was their influence in Lord Grey's 
life. Wild ducks were the distinctive birds at 
Fallodon. Lord Grey had introduced over 
twenty species and from one to two hundred 
unpinioned birds were free to go and come. 
After describing graphically the early morn- 
ing play of a group of these birds on the larger 
of his two ponds, as seen from a bench at the 
pond-side, he writes : 

"All was quiet; there was no sound or stir; 
the water was again smooth, the reflections in 
it were composed once more ; the sun still 
shone; on the water and the birds; on the 
scarlet-barked willows and the delicate bare- 
ness of winter trees on the opposite side. Any- 
one who had come upon it now might have 
thought that the place was under some spell. 
He would have seen the man on the seat sit 
motionless, too, for a long time ; entranced 
rather than asleep; the scene had indeed sunk 
down into his heart and 'held it like a dream.' 
There are times when man's consciousness 
seems laid to rest in some great whole, of 
which he has become a part. There are hours 
of which it can be said, 'Thought was not: in 
enjoyment it expired.' So it was now, and if 
anything stirred in the mind at all, it was an 
echo of the words, 'And God saw that it was 
good.' " 

Frank M. Chapman, 

Curator of Birds', American 
Museum of Natural History 




A scene from the Roosevelt-Grey Walk in the New Forest in Southern England, 
reproduced in the American Museum habitat group, which is dedicated to the 
memory of Viscount Grey of Fallodon 



7 6 



NATURAL HISTORY, JUNE, 1 93 6 



Diving Spiders 



Intimate observations on a spider of India which sub- 
merges when frightened or in search of food, and preys upon fishes 



By Gopal Chandra Bhattacharya 

Bosc Research Institute, 
Calcutta 

Familiar with the rapid manner in which 
spiders move on land and with their web- 
spinning maneuvers in the air, many- 
people do not realize that certain varieties 
have also attained astonishing mastery in the 
realm of water. To see them leap here and 
there on the surface of a river or lake is in it- 
self a surprising sight, but most fascinating of 
all, perhaps, is their habit of submerging and re- 
maining under water for considerable periods. 
Some are able even to prey upon small fishes. 
A spider of this sort is Lycosa annandalm, 
whose activities it has been my fortune to ob- 
serve in the neighborhood of Calcutta. I came 
across the specimens I am about to describe 
quite unexpectedly. 

Searching for stick-spiders 

I was strolling through the suburbs of Cal- 
cutta in the month of March when I came 
upon a stagnant pool. Though the center was 
quite clear of weeds, its shores were completely 
overgrown with aquatic plants and grasses of 
various kinds. Around the edges the big green 
leaves of the Colocasia drooped over the sur- 
face of the water. These plants were the abode 
of another variety of spiders, the red-brown 
and spotted black stick-spiders of the genus 
Tetragnatha. 

These spiders, with the purpose of preying 
■ upon various minute insects that hover or walk 
upon the surface of the water, attach them- 
selves to the leaves, stems, or stalks of the 
Colocasia, where they may easily be mistaken 
for dead sticks. 

I was trying, in vain, to capture some of 



these interesting creatures when my attention 
was drawn to a well developed stick-spider, 
which was passing from one plant to another. 
As the water was only knee-deep. I tried to 
catch it, but as I reached out, the spider, de- 
tecting danger, leaped with great alacritj upon 
the surface of the water. Immediately a big 
gray spider, with spotted back, came running 
from an adjacent leaf of Nymphoides ( Lim- 
nanthemum nymphoides) and jumped upon 
the poor creature in the twinkling of an eye. 
The victim struggled, only to expire within a 
minute and a half. The aggressor then dragged 
the dead animal to a blade of grass and began 
feeding on it. 

A chase 

I resolved to capture the creature that had 
made the attack. But as I approached, it 
jumped and ran away; and I eventually lost 
sight of it entirely among the grasses that stood 
out of the water. I splashed the water and dis- 
turbed the vegetation sufficiently to cause sev- 
eral others of different sizes and shapes to come 
out on the surface of the water. Greatly 
alarmed, they began to run hither and thither. 

I singled out another specimen and pursued 
it relentlessly. Soon the creature became tired 
and ran no more, but folded all its legs and 
crumpled itself into a mere mass, resembling 
something dead. This black mass was floating 
in an inverted position on the water by the 
side of some Nymphoid leaves. The instant I 
placed my fingers on it to pick it up, to my 
utter surprise it disappeared suddenly and com- 
pletely, where, I could not follow. I had been 
quite close upon the creature, but I could not 
detect the secret of its escape. 

For perhaps a quarter of an hour I searched 
in vain. Thoroughly disappointed, I was about 



DIVING SPIDERS 



77 



to give up the chase when suddenly just to 
my right, I saw a big spider emerge from be- 
neath the water. The mystery of their hiding 
themselves so quickly was then solved. This 
large specimen with grayish-black back and 
bluish-white lines around the cephalothorax, 
had been lurking below the surface. I had had 
no idea that these spiders could dive under 
water, like otters and beavers. Since discover- 
ing this, I have scarcely ever failed in captur- 
ing them. 

When frightened, they suddenly submerge 
and remain clinging to the aquatic plants; and 
I have often seen them stay below for more 
than twenty minutes. Because of an air film 
surrounding their bodies, they look silvery 
white under water. The coating of air pre- 
vents the water from moistening them. The 
mother spider, carrying a cocoon from which 
young will eventually emerge, dives under 
water in a similar manner and under similar 
circumstances. 

The depth to which the spider dives is usu- 
ally several inches, and if pursued, it creeps 
for a considerable distance under water along 
the aquatic plants and tries to hide itself in a 
place of safety. When exhausted and unsuc- 
cessful at concealing itself, it feigns death, 
folding all its legs and floating on the surface 
of the water in an inverted position. 

In some respects, both the males and females 
are of similar habits and frequent the same 
places. But the males keep at a safe distance 
from the females, lest they be attacked by 
them. Though smaller in size, the males are 
more formidable looking and run more swiftly 
than the females. 

Courtship 

In the breeding season, the male idles here 
and there over the leaves or stalks of plants 
and grasses, or in bushes in search of a mate ; 
while the female sits quietly under a bush or 
upon a leaf. When a male meets a female both 
remain stationary for some time. If the female 
moves, the male follows her keeping at a safe 
distance. If the female faces about, the male 
remains motionless as if dead. Presently the 
real courting begins and the entire operation 
takes a considerable time. 

The observations I shall recount began about 
eight o'clock one morning at the edge of a 
stagnant pool at Kankurgachhi near Calcutta. 
I was squatting on a moist patch of land, when 



my attention was drawn to a small slender 
spider, which was moving in a peculiar danc- 
ing manner, repeatedly entering and leaving 
a small clump of aquatic plants and sometimes 
encircling the spot. It was not until later that 
I learned that his intended mate was lurking 
there. The male would advance toward the 
spot with very slow and cautious steps, count- 
ing paces as it were. He would raise his body 
to the maximum height and lower it again 
with a graceful movement of the pedipalpi, 
paying as it were homage to her majesty, with 
his head bowed down and both the pedipalpi 
folded. The pedipalpi were prominent and 
black, with femur and patella dorsally orna- 
mented with bluish-white soft bristles. 



Female larger 

After a while, the spider advanced toward 
the bush, spreading his fore legs upward. 
Without stirring an inch from my place, but 
peeping through the plants, I saw what was 
happening inside. The female spider, much 
larger than the male, was resting on a floating 
Nymphoid leaf. When the male approached 
her, she raised her fore legs and chased him. 
The male kept quiet for a few minutes and 
then again approached her, dancing vigorously 
and vibrating his legs. If he appeared to be 
lacking in proper enthusiasm, the female would 
try to rekindle his interest by vibrating her 
hind or fore legs. The same procedure was re- 
peated several times. Then, while the female 
still lay in ambush, the male, all of a sudden, 
approached her and clutched her tightly. 

The preliminary dancing as I later learned 
sometimes lasts for hours ; and the actual mat- 
ing, in this case, continued for more than fif- 
teen minutes. During this time, I managed to 
confine the pair, without disturbing them, in a 
glass tube. When the male released the female 
he remained motionless for a moment, then 
ran toward the end of the tube. Being unable 
to escape, he came back a few paces. There- 
upon the female rushed upon her recent mate, 
caught him and stuck her fangs right through 
the cephalothorax. The poor animal died in a 
minute or two. 

If one were to judge from her appearance 
and movements, the female was extremely 
furious. A few minutes later I introduced an- 
other male into the tube and the same lot be- 
fell it. 



NATURAL HISTORY, JUNE, 1 936 



The female was kept in captivity, and after 
sixteen days she laid her eggs and encased 
them in a pea-like cocoon. It is curious that 
this specimen and all the others of various 
species that were kept in captivity, invariably 
laid their eggs at night. The mother spider 
under discussion firmly fixed the pea-like co- 
coon to her spinnerets and carried it contin- 
uously until the young were hatched, fifteen 
days later. Immediately upon emerging from 
the egg-sac, the young spiders, numbering 167 
in all, got upon their mother's back. 

Tenacious ins line I 

Once I detached the cocoon from the 
mother's spinnerets and put it at a distance. 
But the mother would not be separated from 
it. She attached it again to her spinnerets as 
often as I removed it. I pinned the cocoon to 
a lump of paraffin. The mother tried her ut- 
most to snatch it away, and having failed at- 
tached her spinnerets to it and sat upon it. In 
this position no menaces would cause her to 
forsake her instinctive duty of guarding the 
egg-sac. 

A mother spider cannot distinguish, how- 
ever, between her own and another spider's 
cocoon. When her own cocoon was exchanged 
for that of a different species, the spider was 
quite satisfied with the substituted one. Several 
different cocoons, nearly of equal size, were 
mixed up. The mother spider was unable to 
recognize her own and was satisfied with 
whichever one she happened to pick up. It has 
also been observed that if an extra cocoon is 
offered, the spider will sometimes carry it with 
the side legs. 

These amphibian spiders spend most of their 
time floating on water or resting upon leaves 
or stems of aquatic plants. But with the ap- 
proach of evening they usually retire to land 
and seek shelter under cover of nearby vege- 
tation. Sometimes they climb upon the leaves 
or stalks of grasses or creep under bricks and 
pebbles or into holes in the earth and rest there 
for the night. I could find no evidence of any 



retreat or resting place made by the spiders 
themselves either on land or in water. I 
are not regular weavers of webs or anything 
resembling them, but only spin a little for 
their cocoons. They are very quarrelsome. If 
a male or female happens to be in close proxim- 
ity to another male or female a serious quarrel 
is inevitable. The duel ends in loss of legs, 
endangering the life of either or both of them. 
The female lays eggs in a cocoon of a deep 
olive color, ornamented with several white 
spots. The cocoon is composed of two hemi- 
spherical cups of silk, joined together with 
loosely bound white web material, making a 
line along the equatorial region. With the 
gradual development of the eggs inside, thi> 
white band widens till it gives way for the 
exit of the young spiders. After coming out of 
the cocoon the young spiders flock into their 
mother's back and remain there for five or six 
days. These young ones are always in danger 
of their lives, for neighboring older spiders in- 
variably kill them whenever they catch sight 
of them. 

Fish hunt crs 

Though they are of cannibalistic habit, these 
spiders prey principally upon the water-flies 
that float upon the surface of the water, the 
smaller dragon-flies, etc. ; and they even hunt 
small fishes whenever there is opportunity. 1 
After seizing their prey, they suck the juice 
out of it by inserting the fangs and crushing 
the victim with the powerful mandibles. 

Sometimes they rest upon the clear surface 
of water, making little depression on the sur- 
face. They cannot walk slowly upon the water 
surface but cover wide stretches of water by 
quick jumps. But their most interesting activi- 
ties are their maneuvers under water. These 
spiders, which have been identified as Lycosa 
annandalai, are only one of a number of kinds 
which have mastered in greater or less degree 
the aquatic medium, and provide a rewarding 
subject of observation for the naturalist. 

1 The activities of spiders as fishermen have been de- 
scribed by O. Lloyd Meehean in Natural History for 
October, 1934, and by Dr. E. W. Gudger in Natural His- 
tory for January-February, 1931, and in earlier issues. 



DIVING SPIDERS 



79 




Diving 









% 'gf **** 


V r 


%■ 








ft' 








> V 


HHR! 





(Left) An interesting spider of India in a 
typical posture: Lycosa annandalai which 
displays underwater tactics even more fas- 
cinating than the aerial maneuvers of the 
common varieties with which we are all 
/ a miliar 




80 



(Above) A spider ivith a true fish-story to 
tell. Although these spiders prey principally 
on insects, they also capture and devour 
small fish, from which they extract the juice 
by inserting their fangs and crushing the 
victim with their mandibles 



(Left) This spider is using the leaf of a 
water plant as a float from which to carry 
on his predatory activities. He searches the 
surface for water-flies and dives in quest 
of fish, remaining submerged for as long as 
twenty minutes 

NATURAL HISTORY, JUNE, 1936 



Spiders 



(Right) The mating of Lycosa annandalai. 
The female was kept in captivity and after 
sixteen days laid her eggs and encased them 
in a pea-like cocoon. She would not allow 
this egg-sac to be separated from her during 
the fifteen days that preceded the hatching 
of her young 




1 s: 



In the above photograph the male is shown 
courting the female, ivhich is the larger of 
the species. He approaches with slow and 
cautious steps, as though paying homage to 
her majesty. In the end the female kills her 
mate 



(Right) A group of the spiders in their 
natural setting: males and females resting 
on Nymphoid leaves. At the lower right a 
mother is carrying her young ones, while at 
upper left and below, each spider has cap- 
tured a fish 




DIVING SPIDERS 



81 



Science in the Field 
and in the Laboratory 

'Dedication of African Hall — Russian Eclipse Expedi- 
tion — Meetings of Societies — City Bird Classes 



African Hall Is Open 

The dedication and opening of Akeley Memorial 
African Hall on May 19th was an event which 
many members have eagerly awaited. 

The ceremonies were held in the Entrance Hall 
of the New York State Theodore Roosevelt Me- 
morial, which adjoins African Hall. President F. 
Trubee Davison of the Museum presided before a 
large gathering of members and friends of the 
Museum and spoke on the distinctive features of 
this great exhibit. He gave acknowledgment to the 
various persons instrumental in the creation of the 
Hall and expressed the pride which all who have 
participated in it must feel in inviting the public 
to behold Africa, not as this or that person 
imagined it, but as it is. 

President Davison introduced Mrs. Mary L. Jobe 
Akeley, who has been a vital force in the carrying 
out of the great dream which her husband did not 
live to see. Mrs. Akeley expressed her feelings in 
a brief paper, which because she was suffering 
from laryngitis, was read by Dr. Harold Anthony. 
Doctor Anthony, in turn, explained how the Ameri- 
can Museum of Natural History has been a pioneer 
in the habitat method of exhibiting mounted ani- 
mals, and pointed to African Hall as a climax in 
the development of museum art. He also described 
briefly the groups in African Hall and called at- 
tention to the precision that has been exercised 
throughout to preserve the effect of reality. 

Dr. James L. Clark, who has been responsible 
for the entire preparational work connected with 
the Hall, was unfortunately absent from the cere- 
monies on a Museum expedition to Indo-China. 

The great dream which Carl Akeley had of 
bringing Africa to America first stirred in him 
about a quarter of a century ago. When the dream 
was crystallized an African Hall Committee was 
formed on which Daniel E. Pomeroy has served 
continuously as Chairman. Mr. Pomeroy spoke at 
the ceremonies on the greatness of Carl Akeley 
from the point of view of an intimate friend. 

Readers of Natural History are reminded of 
the January, 1936 issue of the magazine which was 
devoted to African Hall. Now open to the public, 
this superb display will acquaint thousands who 

82 



might never otherwise see it with the wild beauty 
of Africa. 

Doctor Fisher to View Russian Eclipse 
On May 16th Dr. Clyde Fisher, Curator of the 
Hayden Planetarium, sailed on the Swedish-Ameri- 
can liner Drottningholm for the first lap of his 
journey to Russia and Siberia. Doctor Fisher, as a 
member of the Harvard College Observatory Ex- 
pedition, will take photographs and motion pictures 
of the total eclipse of the sun which occurs on June 
19th, and which may be observed to the best ad- 
vantage from the little hamlet in eastern Russia 
by the name of Ak-boulak. This eclipse will not be 
visible in the United States. While this total eclipse 
is an important phenomenon of great interest to 
astronomers in the study of the sun, it does not 
overshadow the second objective of Doctor Fisher's 
trip, which calls for a study of the great meteor 
craters in northwestern Siberia. 

The Hayden Planetarium 
During the month of June "The Midnight Sun" 
will be the subject of the lecture in the Hayden 
Planetarium. The demonstration will include a trip 
to the North Pole with several stops on the way to 
observe changing conditions as the latitude changes. 
The midnight sun and its apparent motions will be 
visible from the Arctic regions, as will also that 
beautiful spectacle, the aurora borealis or northern 
lights. 

Amateur Astronomers Association 
The Annual Meeting of the Amateur Astrono- 
mers Association on May 20th brought to a close 
the regular lecture-meetings for the season. The 
next regular meeting of the Association will be 
held on October 7th, after which lectures will be 
given on the first and third Wednesdays of each 
month. Members of the Association are hoping for 
fine weather and clear nights this summer. Trips 
are planned to astronomical observatories to ex- 
amine observatory equipment, and, when possible, 
to look through large telescopes; other trips are to 
points on the outskirts of New York City for con- 
stellation study. These field trips begin with a visit 

NATURAL HISTORY, JUNE, 1 936 



to the Naval Observatory in Washington, D. C, on 
Memorial Day. All persons interested in obtaining 
notices of and further information about these 
amateur expeditions are invited to address the 
Secretary of the Amateur Astronomers Association 
at the American Museum of Natural History in 
New York City. 

Junior Astronomy Club 

Although the season of the Junior Astronomj 
Club was formally closed at a Jubilee meeting on 
May 9th, various activities will continue through- 
out the summer. The club is making a survey of 
the plans of numerous observatories for observa- 
tion of the eclipse of June 8, 1937. This unusual 
eclipse will have a seven minute period of totality 
and will be unequalled for a thousand years except 
for the eclipse of 1955. 

Meteors, variable stars, and other sky phe- 
nomena will be watched by members who will 
pursue their individual observations during the 
summer months. 

Close Neighbors of the Earth 

Between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter there is 
a belt of tiny planets called minor planets or aster- 
oids. The total number of asteroids has been esti- 
mated at between 40,000 and 50,000. All of those 
observed go around the sun in the same direction 
as that in which the major planets move. 

The astronomical world was interested in the 
discovery in 1898 of a small member of this group, 



which approached nearer the earth than Mai v. and 

even nearer than Vciiu*, which 

2t.,ooo,ooo miles of the earth. This asteroid was 

named "Eros"; iis diameter was estimated al 20 
miles; and on account of the great eccentricity ol 
the orbit, it was found to come within less than 
ij.,000,000 miles of the earth. The orbit of this as- 
teroid proved to be an improved sard-tick in mea- 
suring the distance of the sun from the earth. 

Foi more than a third of a century. Bros was the 
most neighborly of the known planets. But in 
March, 1932, an asteroid was discovered by Del- 
porte of the Royal Observatory at Brussels, and 
later named "Amor," which is hardly more than 
10,000,000 miles beyond the orbit of the eartli at its 
closest approach. It is estimated to be not more than 
a mile or two in diameter. 

In April, 1932, an asteroid was discovered at 
Heidelberg by Reinmuth, which approaches much 
closer to the earth than Amor. It is only about a 
mile in diameter, and at two points its path comes 
within three million miles of the earth's orbit. 

In February, 1936, Delporte discovered an aster- 
oid only about one-third of a mile in diameter, and 
consequently no bigger than a mountain on the 
earth. In fact, the asteroids in general have been 
referred to as "flying mountains." This tiny planet 
came within 1,500,000 miles of the earth, and is 
therefore our nearest known celestial neighbor ex- 
cept the moon and the meteors. After charting its 
path, Delporte named this newly discovered minor 
planet "Anteros," the mythological brother of Eros. 




Early morning bird class of the American 
Museum of Natural History studying a north- 
ern water thrush in Central Park, May 12 



SCIENCE IN THE FIELD AND IN THE LABORATORY 



83 



City Birders 
To the nature-loving New Yorker who is city- 
bound in the awakening months of April and May, 
Central Park offers surprising opportunities for 
study and recreation. To the expert, ioo spring 
species seen in the course of a month on two early 
morning rambles a week in Central Park may not 
seem especially significant, but to the New Yorker 
who longs to get to the country and cannot, it is 
thrilling. 

The American Museum of Natural History, 
realizing the general interest in birds and the fine 
opportunities for study at hand in the Park, has 
been sponsoring, for the past five years, early 
morning walks during the migration season. To be 
greeted the middle of April by phoebes, robins, 
juncos, and even cowbirds after a long, cold winter 
is delightful. By this time, too, "Silver-tail," the 
albino grackle, is back to make his third yearly 
nest, and a flicker is loudly cuh-cuhing his approval 
of a maple to his mate for household purposes. 
Hermit thrushes, goldfinches, rusty blackbirds, and 
all too rarely a cardinal add their sweet voices to 
the middle April chorus. And on one dark morn- 
ing a hump on a horizontal limb suddenly came to 
life in the form of a whip-poor-will. The sight of 
this bird, so seldom seen in the Park, was a real 
treat to the early birders. 

One young enthusiast took to surprising the group 
with some pre-class discoveries. One morning he 
had spotted a yellow-bellied sapsucker at work 
and promptly led the group to the bitternut tree. 
The sapsucker, meanwhile, had disappeared and 
one student remarked that perhaps he had found 
the sap as bitter as the nut, but an even row of 
deep, little dripping holes in the trunk told the tale. 
Then some quick eyes spied him busily drilling at 
a neighboring tree, when we found that breakfast 
to a woodpecker came foremost on a chill morning, 
regardless of any curious lot of binocular devotees. 

Last year two little screech owls chose an old 
pine near the West 77th Street entrance to the 
Park for their sleeping quarters. Upon first sight 
they looked like a knot on the rough bark, and the 
class was agog when they raised their heads and 
opened their large, sleepy eyes. Their admirers stop 
regularly this year to scrutinize the old pine, but so 
far without success. That is what makes birding so 
fascinating — the unexpected finds, the reunion with 
old bird friends, and the uncertainty of what may 
be in the next tree or around the corner. 

As the migration season advances, birds come in 
a bewildering profusion. This spring a warm, south 
wind in the third week of April brought the first 
wave of warblers, golden-crowned and ruby- 
crowned kinglets, purple finches, blue-headed 
vireos, and others. Seeing thirteen species for the 
first time within an hour delighted the older stu- 
dents, whereas it dazed the beginners. In a month's 
time those seeking rarer species had heard the 
Cape May warbler sing his weak little song and 
the Tennessee warbler give his distinct "strident 
chappering." Some of the beginners had 75 life 
species to their credit — enough to keep them busy 
learning their habits the rest of the summer. 

Although rare species of birds may still be seen 



in the Park, if there were more underbrush, soft 
earth, and green grass, as in former years, it is 
probable that many more would linger and rest in 
this city refuge while migrating. All New Yorkers 
who love birds and count them as their city friends 
should do their utmost to protect and improve the 
Park, to discourage vandalism, and to encourage 
and support the several sanctuaries that have been 
established. — Gladys Gordon Fry. 

Meeting of the American Association 
of Museums 
The Thirty-first Annual Meeting of the Ameri- 
can Association of Museums was held in New 
York from May nth to May 13th. On Tuesday, 
May 12th, the members of the Association were 
the guests of the American Museum of Natural 
History. In the morning a general session was 
held in the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Audi- 
torium, at which President F. Trubee Davison 
presided and greeted the delegates. At noon the 
trustees of the Museum tendered a luncheon to the 
delegates, and in the afternoon section-meetings 
were held in the classrooms of the School Service 
building. Some 400 were present. 

Annual Dinner 
The Annual Dinner of the American Associa- 
tion of Museums was the last event of the meet- 
ing and was held on the evening of May 13th in 
The Hotel Roosevelt. John H. Finley, associate edi- 
tor of the New York Times, served as toastmaster 
and introduced the speakers, who included the fol- 
lowing: Robert Cushman Murphy, of the American 
Museum of Natural History; Louis Cons, professor 
of French literature, Columbia University; and 
Vilhjalmur Stefansson, arctic explorer. 

Doctor Murphy addressed the gathering of about 
300 members and guests on the modern trends in 
museum aims: "Thirty years ago," he stated, "the 
museum idea had not . . . gone so far into the 
out-of-doors, much less into waves that travel 
around the earth via the stratosphere. ... As 
I remember, many of the papers at the earliest 
meetings of this organization related to standardi- 
zation of methods and equipment, a tendency which 
would have become the very bane of museums — 
institutions which must be individualistic and dis- 
tinctive, if nothing else. What a revelation we have 
had this week in such more exciting titles as: 
'The Film as a Museum Piece,' 'Showmanship in 
the Museum,' 'Research Service in the Museum 
Library,' 'Air Conditioning,' 'Infra-Red Photog- 
raphy,' and 'Objectives of Museum Work in Na- 
tional and State Parks.' . . . During the course 
of one short generation the whole museum idea 
has burst out from between the walls of discrete 
compartments, and from under solid roofs, and 
has entered the schools, camps, homes, even the 
forests, deserts, shores, and canyons of the wide 
world. Contrariwise, vastly more of the out-of- 
doors has been brought into the museums, so that 
indoors and outdoors are inextricably interwoven." 
Doctor Murphy also pointed out some of the 
obstacles to the conservation of our national fauna 
and flora: "The settlers of our country were not 

NATURAL HISTORY, JUNE, 1 936 



originally woodsmen. They were husbandmen, 
traders, manufacturers, and they had been so for 
a thousand years in their old home. . . . These 
forbears of ours suffered, in short, from the fallacy 
of the inexhaustible. If forests were laid low, there 
were plenty more just beyond. . . . 

". . . We are still largely possessed of a Yankee 
mania for drainage, which has been one of the 
most devilish of all our national habits. In the 
British Isles, as elsewhere in Europe, a marsh i9 
treasured by any community, large or small. It is 
the place where the first spring blossoms emerge, 
and where gray herons, moorhens and waterfowl 
become almost as familiar and confident as barn- 
yard birds. But in our own country the point of 
view of the 'realtor' has become so nearly 
controlling that most Americans look at a moist 
area filled with green rushes, meadow orchises, 
and pond lilies a9 something to be filled as 
promptly as possible with ashes, tin cans, and 
bedsprings. . . . 

"But . . . we [in the museums] are not con- 
fined to the ordinary channels either of legalistic 
means or of scholastic education, and we well 
know that public opinion is far more effective 
than law." 

The Fate of Grand Lake 

In Rocky Mountain National Park, which was 
set aside in order to preserve in the National Park 
System a fragment of the most beautiful section of 
the Rockies, lies Grand Lake, the largest and love- 
liest lake in Colorado. But that beauty, and the 
existence of a large part of the present animal and 
plant population of the region is menaced by the 
proposition, now before the House of Representa- 
tives, to carry through the so-called Grand Lake — 
Big Thompson Transmountain Diversion Project. 
As outlined in hearings in the Senate, the plan pro- 
vides for diverting water from the Colorado River 
in the southwestern corner of Rocky Mountain Na- 
tional Park through a tunnel under the continental 
divide into the Big Thompson drainage by a dam 
190 feet high across a narrow gorge in the Colo- 
rado River. The Granby Reservoir, with 380,000 
acre feet capacity, would be built at a cost of 
$1,370,000. The enlarged Grand Lake would be 
connected by a tunnel 68,700 feet long, nine feet in 
diameter, to cost $5,134,400. (Incidentally the esti- 
mate for the Moffat Tunnel was $6,000,000 and 
the actual cost $r8,ooo,ooo.) 

The cost of the entire project, including supply 
canals and a power plant, is estimated at $22,000,- 
000. The water would be used to supplement ex- 
isting irrigation systems which supply sugar beet 
areas now under cultivation. 

Grand Lake will be ruined if this project is 
authorized, according to a letter received by Dr. 
H. E. Anthony from the American Planning and 
Civic Association, which points out that "the enor- 
mous amount of debris would undoubtedly create 
unsightly conditions of the worst sort near Grand 
Lake at the west side end of the tunnel and in the 
Park at the east end. See the entrance to Moffat 
Tunnel. The 8000 feet of conduit from the end of 



the tunnel to the east park line would introduce 
unsightly conditions which would last for many 
years and might never be obliterated." 

The American Indian 

A study of changes in American Indian popula- 
tion is under way in the department of anthropol- 
ogy at the American Museum. This study is based 
upon vital statistics for a number of Indian tribes 
in Canada and the United States over a period of 
fifty years, the compilation of which has been car- 
ried through by Mrs. R. D. Sanderson, honorary 
Life Member of the Museum. A brief report on 
this investigation has been published by Curator 
Wissler in the Proceedings 0] the National Acad- 
emy of Science. This publication deals especially 
with the peculiar excess of adult women among 
the Cree Indians. It was observed that among one 
division of the Cree the sex ratio was 199 men to 
243 women. In most populations of the world 
there are but small differences between the num- 
ber of men and women. The publication issued is 
a discussion of the probable causes of this piic- 
nomena. It was discovered that among minors the 
number of males was but little less than the num- 
ber of females, thus making it obviqus that there 
was a higher death rate among near adult males. 
Further analysis of the data revealed that the high 
death rate for males began about the sixteenth year 
and continued to about the twenty-fifth year. There 
is no known disease that is selective in this way. 
On the other hand, the information concerning 
these Indians indicated that they were hunters and 
trappers and that most of the deaths among males 
for the period were believed due to accident and 
exposure. In brief, it was possible to show that 
this example of extreme differences between adult 
males and females was entirely due to mode of 
life. These Indians were first placed upon reser- 
vations about 18S0, the statistics on their popula- 
tion begin a few years later, and since there was 
an even greater excess of women at that time than 
in 1934, we believe that under original primitive 
conditions there was a still greater number of 
women. In 1805 a fur trader reported that there 
were 76 men to 212 women. The significance of 
the data compiled by Mrs. Sanderson is that we 
see the hunting, warring life of the aboriginal In- 
dian as especially destructive to males. 

Incense Burner for the Morgan Collection 

The Morgan Gem Collection has recently re- 
ceived as a gift from an anonymous donor a very 
finely carved incense burner made of leek-green 
aventurine, a massive variety of quartz inclosing 
minute flakes of mica. 

This finely executed example of Chinese carv- 
ing of the Kien Lung period features dragons com- 
bined with designs representing conventionalized 
clouds. It stands ten and one-half inches high, ex- 
clusive of its teakwood base, and was very evi- 
dently fashioned from a single block of aventurine, 
since the lines of color accentuation on the body of 
the burner extend without break into the remov- 
able cover. 



SCIENCE IN THE FIELD AND IN THE LABORATORY 



85 



Exhibits in Memorial Hall 

Several interesting exhibits have been on view 
in Memorial Hall recently. From April 24th to 
May 18th, material used by Mr. Lincoln Ellsworth 
on his recent transantarctic flight from Dundee 
Island to a forced landing near "Little America" 
was displayed. The collection included a tent, 
sledge, supplies, and a model of the plane used. 
Other exhibits in May included one entitled The 
Spring Migration Is On, showing specimens of 
various migratory local birds, fish, reptiles, insects, 
and bats. An exhibit of various means of com- 
munication included an African drum, a picture of 
a smoke signal, a piece of wampum, birch bark 
writing, and natural history stamps. Another dis- 
play that created public interest was arranged in 
connection with the fifth annual James Arthur 
Lecture on the Evolution of the Human Brain. 
This showed sections of the normal human brain 
and of a brain with tumors. A most timely exhibit 
was that of the life cycle of the tent caterpillar and 
of means of controlling this insect. 

Geophysical Meeting 

At the annual meeting of the American Geophy- 
sical Union held in Washington, D. C, April 30th- 
May 2nd, the Museum was represented by Dr. Robert 
Cushman Murphy, who took part in the sessions of 
the section of oceanography. These were presided 
over by Mr. Columbus O'Donnell Iselin, Com- 
mander of the research vessel Atlantis. Important 
aspects of the discussion were concerned with the 
submarine valleys of the coast shelf and with the 
new "wake current" theory which has an impor- 
tant bearing upon problems concerned with the 
Gulf Stream. 

Next year it is hoped to plan a meeting of 
marine biologists on a day contiguous to that of 
the section of oceanography in order that men of 
science concerned with these interrelated matters 
may enjoy the opportunity of exchanging views. 

Adult Education 

The New York Adult Education Council held 
a series of three conferences on April 22nd, April 



29th, and May 6th on "Current Trends in Adult 
Education." Mrs. Agnes K. Saunders represented 
the Museum at these conferences in which repre- 
sentatives from forty other organizations carrying 
on adult education programs participated. Mrs. 
Saunders spoke of the Museum's aims, methods, 
and flexibility, and of the success of adult educa- 
tion programs. Representatives from other museums 
of the city compared trends and problems in their 
respective programs. Mrs. Saunders also attended 
a dinner of the Council on May 4th at which 
Professor Lyman Bryson of Columbia was the 
presiding officer. 

On April 25th she conducted a round table 
discussion in a conference on "Art Occupations in 
Industry" sponsored by the Institute of Women's 
Professional Relations. College student east of 
Chicago, educators, and professional men and 
women were invited to attend the conference. 
There were fourteen round tables covering broad 
fields of art such as Advertising, Lighting, and 
Movie Design. Mrs. Saunders spoke on the scope 
of natural history work, training required, and 
opportunities in the field. The conference was held 
at the American Women's Association and was 
attended by several hundred persons. 

Visits of Crippled Children 
During April and May the Museum was host to 
several hundred crippled children. On April 29th 
and May 14th some 500 children came from the 
public schools of New York City, some in wheel 
chairs and some on crutches, and attended a 
planetarium showing, were guided through the 
Museum halls, and saw the motion picture, 
"Sequoia." On April 16th thirty-two crippled 
children from Montefiore Hospital spent the day 
at the Museum, and followed much the same pro- 
gram. These are annual affairs and the enthusiasm 
and gratitude of the little visitors make their trips 
a pleasure to the Museum staff. 

Credit 
Owing to an oversight the Northern Pacific Rail- 
way did not receive credit for the use of the Indian 
pictures in the May issue of Natural History. 



86 



NATURAL HISTORY, JUNE, 1 936 



The New Books 



The Study of Man — Percival Lowell — The Stars 
Under the Sea — Gems and Minerals 



A Hundred Years of Anthropolocy. By T. K. 
Pcnnlman. The Macmillan Co. New York, 1936. 
4.00 pp. $4.50. 

SOCRATES, it is said, first formulated that pro- 
found but now hoary dictum: Know thyself. 
But except for a few tentative gestures in that di- 
rection on the part of the fellow countrymen of 
the sage, man has preferred, until recently, to try 
to know all about everything except himself. Medi- 
cine, the only ancient science exclusively absorbed 
in man, cannot be said to satisfy Socrates' require- 
ment since its development has been largely 
haunted by the specter of disease and abnormality. 
Under such pressure it has had little time for the 
less pressing if more fundamental principles which 
have shaped man, infused him with wisdom and 
folly, driven him into social units and governed 
his behavior. 

It has, therefore, remained for anthropology 
among other newer disciplines to attempt to fill the 
need for a science of man. Its career has been like 
Topsy's; it has often had to clothe itself in hand- 
me-downs; some of its garments inadequately cover 
its rapidly growing frame; it has disturbingly 
spacious prospects; in other words it is growing 
and adapting itself. The history of such a move- 
ment should be an absorbing document. But curi- 
ously few exist and those few are unsatisfactory. 
Mr. Penniman has essayed the task and has pro- 
duced a book which in some respects is by far the 
best I have seen for the field it covers. 

The author has divided the history of anthrop- 
ology into a formulary period before 1835, a con- 
vergent period from 1835 to 1859, a constructive 
period from 1859 to 1900 and a critical period 
from 1900 to 1935. The philosophical and social 
backgrounds which produced the beginnings of 
anthropology in the formulary period are briefly 
sketched in. The early anthropological classics of 
the convergent period are listed and discussed. To 
the giants of the constructive period tribute is paid, 
and they are conveniently tagged for the reader. 
And finally the young and not so young hopefuls 
of the present are mentioned. Throughout this ac- 
count the influences of cognate fields on the de- 



velopment of anthropological thought are suggested. 

I find the later period division- rather artifical. 
The break between the constructive period and the 
critical is hardly real. I also find myself skeptical 
that Darwin's publication of The Origin of the 
Species provided as pervasive and as profound a 
motivation in anthropology as Mr. Penniman seems 
to believe. Without detracting from Darwin's glori- 
ous achievement and his very real influence in 
anthropology, there are, I think, enough examples 
in Mr. Penniman's own account to support the be- 
lief that much of modern anthropology has roots 
which go to an earlier period than Darwin. Like 
the Greeks, Darwin has become the fons et origo 
of historians. We tend to forget that Darwin, great 
as he was, was part of a movement which lie 
synthesized and expressed more adequately than 
had been done before. Some of the ideas which he 
appropriated had in other fields already begun 
to sprout and produce tender shoots. 

I am not erudite enough to know intimately the 
vast array of names which are marshaled in this 
book nor all the "firsts" in every field, but I 
seemed to detect a perhaps pardonable weakness 
of the author to over-stress the role of English 
anthropologists in the development of anthropology. 
For example, the impression is given that the 
English Haldane first enunciated the theory of the 
Asiatic origin of the B mutation in the blood 
groups. It is, of course, necessary that the author 
of a history covering so vast a field exercise some 
discretion in the selection of the protagonists of his 
account, but in view of the often lengthy treatment 
of relatively unknown and as yet insignificant 
names which are included I wonder why such im- 
portant figures as Kroeber and Lowie entirely 
escape mention and why the profound studies of 
Boas on growth and environment are merely item- 
ized perfunctorily. — H. L. Shapiro. 

Highlights of Astronomy. By Walter Bartky. Uni- 
versity of Chicago Press, IQ35- $3.00. 

THE AUTHOR, who is Associate Professor of As- 
tronomy in the University of Chicago, has writ- 
ten this book for the astronomical portion of the 
Introductory General Course in the Physical Sci- 



THE NEW BOOKS 



87 



ences, one of the four introductory courses under 
the new undergraduate curriculum in that institu- 
tion, the object of these courses being to give the 
student a general educational background before 
he ventures to specialize in any particular field. 

Doctor Bartky has given hundreds of lectures at 
the Adler Planetarium, and in the advertisement on 
the jacket we are told that he has sought to answer 
in this book some of the hundreds of questions peo- 
ple have asked him in his lectures at the Chicago 
Planetarium. These lectures together with his years 
of teaching experience have enabled him to pre- 
pare an excellent non-technical text without the 
introduction of mathematics. The material has been 
well selected, and treatment is clear and interest- 
ing. The author has unusual skill in presenting the 
results of mathematical investigation without the 
mathematical calculations. 

The modernistic make-up of the book, many of 
its pages consisting of closely printed matter, with 
rather narrow margins, its chapter headings in 
small block letters, all tend to make the volume, 
according to this reviewer, somewhat formidable, 
which character is not deserved by the content. It 
is relieved, and made much more attractive, how- 
ever, by many drawings by Chichi Lasley and by 
many astronomical photographs from the Yerkes 
Observatory. 

Packed in 280 pages is a good working knowledge 
of astronomy, certainly a treatment adequate 
enough to enable any beginner to determine whether 
his natural bent would impel him to go further 
into the subject. 

As an adjunct of the book, the author has devised 
an instrument, which he calls the "Stellarscope," 
for the study of the night sky. Through this in- 
genious and unique device, the stars and constella- 
tions are viewed on motion-picture film, illuminated 
and magnified. Each tiny sky-map, of which there 
are 24, is named on the film. By superimposing each 
individual film upon that portion of the sky, the 
exact identification of the heavenly bodies is made 
simple and easy. The "Stellarscope" is also dis- 
tributed by the University of Chicago Press at the 
price of $2.00. — Clyde Fisher. 



Autobiography of Percival Lowell. By A. 
Lawrence Lowell. The Macmillan Co., New 
York. $3.00. 

The reviewer is not certain whether he should 
compliment the author for making his late brother 
tell his own story, or congratulate him on cleverly 
combining the narrative of Percival's life with 
the results of the Lowell Observatory's work on 
the planets. 

The book is really in two distinct parts. One 
deals with the early life and travels of this remark- 
able person, who was gentleman, diplomat, cor- 
respondent, author, lecturer, business man, and 
mystic. The other describes the growth of a pas- 
sion for astronomy that gave a new unity to his 
life, and culminated in the building, maintaining, 
and endowing of a great observatory. 

From his graduation from college until he was 
38 years old Percival Lowell traveled through 



Japan and Korea. He loved the East. He lived 
there as a native, and with a sympathy rare in 
an Occidental brought the East to the West by his 
delightful and inimitable pen. 

As one reads the biography he sees that this was 
merely a period of preparation for the work 
Lowell was to do later. As a child he used a small 
telescope and read astronomical books. In college 
he had an excellent groundwork in science and 
mathematics. 

Then came the sudden intention to devote him- 
self to the sky. He organized and built his ob- 
servatory. He realized that like an institution of 
learning an observatory is not merely a building, 
but involves a competent and sympathetic staff as 
well. Both these elements were combined and are 
there today in Flagstaff, Arizona as a result of the 
vision and ability of Percival Lowell. 

The remaining half of the book quotes at length 
from the writings of this "amateur astronomer" 
and from the Annals of the Observatory. It de- 
scribes the intensive work on Mars and recounts 
the growing conviction of Lowell that Mars is 
inhabited by intelligent beings. This, as some may 
think, was not a preconceived thesis to be proved, 
but a conviction arrived at only after much obser- 
vation. The reviewer, like the author, cannot im- 
prove on Lowell's own words: 

"To review, now, the chain of reasoning by 
which we have been led to regard it probable that 
upon the surface of Mars we see the effects of 
local intelligence. We find, in the first place, that 
the broad physical conditions of the planet are not 
antagonistic to some form of life; secondly, that 
there is an apparent dearth of water upon the 
planet's surface, and therefore, if beings of suf- 
ficient intelligence inhabited it, they would have to 
resort to irrigation to support life; thirdly, that 
there turns out to be a network of markings cover- 
ing the disc precisely counterparting what a system 
of irrigation would look like; and, lastly, that 
there is a set of spots placed where we should 
expect to find the lands thus artificially fertilized, 
and behaving as such constructed oases should. 
All this, of course, may be a set of coincidences, 
signifying nothing; but the probability points the 
other way." 

Next comes a period of study of the solar sys- 
tem and its origin; the evolution of the planets; 
studies in celestial mechanics on the asteroids; the 
rings of Saturn; and finally the prediction of a 
planet beyond Neptune. Even if it were a mere 
coincidence (which it probably was not), the find- 
ing of Pluto in 1930, fourteen years after Percival 
Lowell's death, completed his unfinished work. It 
is fitting that it should have been found at his 
observatory — and fitting that its symbol E should 
stand not only for Pluto, but for Percival Lowell. 
— Wm. H. Barton, Jr. 

The Story of the Gems. By Herbert P. Whitlock. 
Lee Furman, New York. $3.00. 

Scheduled for publication in June, 1936. 
To be reviewed later. 

NATURAL HISTORY, JUNE, 1 936 



The Book of Minerals. Ity Alfred C. Hawkins. 
John Wiley & Sons, New York. l6l pages; $1.50. 

This little book is not "just another Mineralogy 
text book"; its appeal is wider and more uni- 
versal than even the university. It fits into tin- 
pocket of Boy or Girl Scouts as well as it does into 
that niche in their brains that is reserved for things 
scientific. Those of us who are privileged to come 
into contact with the sons and daughters of the 
"man in the street" know that there has been a 
very considerable awakening of interest in min- 
erals during the last decade. Doctor Hawkins' bunk 
does much to stimulate that interest; its lucid dic- 
tion and well chosen half-tone illustrations appeal 
to the novice mineral collector, no less than docs its 
moderate price. — H. P. W. 

Twenty Years Under the Sea. By J. E. William- 
son. Hair, Cushman and Flint, Boston. J20 pages, 
55 photographs. $2.50. 

FOR TWENTY years J. E. Williamson has been 
photographing sea-bottoms, staring at octo- 
puses, sharks, and Hollywood mermaids through 
the glass window of his "photosphere." This 
"photosphere" is a refinement worked out by Wil- 
liamson on a deep-sea salvaging device invented 
by his father. The perfected apparatus is a four- 
ton metal sphere with great glass windows, hang- 
ing at the end of a flexible metal tube. 

In 1913 Williamson was "photographer, artist, 
and often reporter to boot," on a Norfolk news- 
paper, the Virginian Pilot. In the traditional man- 
ner of young newspaper men he harbored the hope 
of coming "upon the one big story that will surpass 
all other adventures." When he conceived the no- 
tion of modifying his father's invention, he forgot 
all his regular assignments. His mind was 
"crowded with the visionary scheme of taking pic- 
tures beneath the sea." 

When he brought the first successful undersea 
photographs ever taken back to the office of the 
Pilot (which prepared a full-page Sunday spread) 
Williamson was already excited over the possibility 
of making moving pictures under water. The rest 
of his book is largely given up to accounts of his 
exploits in making submarine moving pictures and 
in collecting specimens for scientific institutions. 

Williamson has gotten many fearsome and 
beautiful effects into his undersea pictures, such as 
the funeral cortege in Twenty Thousand Leagues 
Under the Sea. For the struggle between the octo- 
pus and the pearl diver in this picture he con- 
structed a most ingenious cephalopod, with a diver 
sitting in its head, and with its fifteen-foot ten- 
tacles writhing under the pressure of compressed 
air. As might be expected this octopus showed 
none of the timidity which makes the real octopus 
a rather disappointing actor; and most of the 
spectators were as satisfied as the newspaper critic 
who affirmed that "there can be no question of 
fake or deception." 



Mr. William-., n, among other adventures, ha- 
killed his shark, diving beneath it with a knife, 
in the good old Bahama fashion, but the most 
alarming experience he had was when lie felt an 
anomalous shape crawling within bit helmet When 
he finally was drawn up to the -urfare he found 
that a scorpion had secreted ii^flf in the helmet. 

The photographs include magnificent coral 
groves, gailj Striped tropical fish, fantasiii scenes 
from underwater motion pictures and an abun- 
dance of sharks. 

While Mr. Williamson makes no pretense of 
being a scientific observer, and is certainly over- 
generous in the use of expressions like "man-eater" 
and "monster," his book is continually entertaining, 
and sometimes exciting. — G. L. 

A World of Chance. By Edward Glcason Spauld- 
ing. The Macmillan Co., New York. $3.00. 

This book is an argument for a thorough-going 
Indeterministic position as regards the Struc- 
ture of Reality, to include in the meaning of this 
term not only Nature, but also that realm of fact 
which is not part of Nature, but of which, con- 
versed, Nature itself is an instance." To his own 
questions Whence, Whither, and Why, Professor 
Spaulding finds the answers From no Source, To 
no End, and For no Reason. He considers that 
this is a Pluralistic universe and that the World, 
in the broadest sense, is a world not of necessity, 
but of chance. 

Recent Museum Publications 

NOVITATES 

No. 837. A Classification and Phylogeny of the 

Elasmobranch Fishes. By E. Grace 

White. 

No. 838. The Heart Valves of the Elasmobranch 

Fishes. By E. Grace White. 
No. 839. Pagothenia, a New Antarctic Fish. By 

J. T. Nichols and F. R. LaMonte. 
No. 8+0. African Bees of the Genus Allodapula. 

By T. D. A. Cockerell. 
No. 841. Records of North American Gnaphosidae 

with Descriptions of New Species. By- 
Ralph V. Chamberlin. 
No. 842. The Australian Ant Genus Froggattela. 

By William Morton Wheeler. 
No. 843. African and American Oligochaeta in the 

American Museum of Natural History. 

By W. Michaelsen. 
No. 844. Western Bees of the Genus Cerathina, 

Subgenus Zaodontomerus. By Charles D. 

Michener. 
No. 845. A New Genus and Species of Fulgorid 

from Haiti (Homoptera: Fulgoridae). 

By Herbert L. Dozier. 
No. 846. Results of the Archbold Expeditions. No. 

9. A New Race of Hyosciurus. By G. H. 

H. Tate and Richard Archbold. 
No. 847. African Hylaeine Bees. By T D. A. 

Cockerell. 



THE NEW BOOKS 



RECENTLY ELECTED MEMBERS 

* 



A report from the membership department lists 
the following persons who have been elected 
members of the American Museum: 

Honorary Life Members 
Mrs. Antoinette K. Gordon. 
Lieut. Col. F. M. Bailey. 
Major James Corbett. 

Life Members 
Mrs. Conrad P. Hatheway. 
Mr. Edward K. Warren. 

Sustaining Members 
Messrs. John Jacob Astor, Chas. J. Lynn. 

Annual Members 
Mesdames Beulah G. Barnard, Wyllys Beets, Robert 
Bradford, Ella L. Durkee, Harold Fowler, 
Charles F. Havemeyer, G. Maria Hoyt, Grinnell 
Martin, G. H. Michel, Edgerton Parsons, Edward 
McClure Peters, J. Dudley Phillips, Peterson 
Phinny, Morris McKim Pryor, Alfred M. Tozzer. 

Misses Helen de Peyster, Virginia Gray, Helen S. 
Jones, Jeannette M. Meyer, Elise W. Stutzer, 
Amy L. Varnum. 

Brig. Gen. Palmer E. Pierce. 

Doctors Lincoln Davis, Julius Goldberg, Davenport 
Hooker. 

Messrs. Charles G. Aubry, John Bancroft, Jr., 
Charles M. Barker, Robert Bradford, A. M. 
Davis, Thomas H. Eddy, Henry A. Edwards, 
Benj. C. Fincke, Ralph E. Flinn, Henry Clay 
Foster, H. R. Kinsley, Albert Koehl, Harold A. 
Pitman, Marcus C. Rich, H. C. Robb, Allan Ap- 
pleton Robbins, Halcyon N. Skinner. 

Associate Members 
Mesdames T. R. Almond, Kate Pierce Baker, James 
Coggeshall, Jr., Mary Crowe, Arthur G. Cum- 
mer, Myrtle S. Davies, Richard Derby, Wm. J. 
Donovan, Robert Duncan, John M. Elliot, Cora 
P. Emerson, Grace W. Farnsworth, James A. 
Field, Gordon C. Forbes, Philip H. Gray, Jessie 
M. Green, O. W. Hickok, 3d, A. W. Ibotson, 
John V. Janes, Isaac W. Jeanes, John B. Knox, 
Fanny C. Lancaster, J. C. Maxwell, Carl S. 
Miner, Adela Merrell Prentiss, Helen Colman 
Pross, Fred Drexel Rice, Harold L. Rutledge, 
F. R. Schwengel, Charles L. Slattery, H. D. 
Stewart, W. C. Swain, A. W. Wagenseller, 
Edward M. Weld, J. Linzee Weld, Charles H. 
Wentworth, Mabel Hanmer White. 

Misses Martha Aaron, E. W. Beath, Allen Chaffee, 
Alice P. Chase, Dorothy Chichester, Kathryn 
Louise Cole, Emma B. Croft, Katherine Crum- 
packer, Helen M. Daggett, Helen M. Dedrick, 
Adeline K. Dennis, Edna F. Denniston, Grace L. 



Depue, Harriet C. Dickinson, Katharine E. Dopp, 
Louise Eberhard, Frances Eells, Louise Farley, 
Elizabeth Hopkins Farmer, Jessie Ruth Ford, 
Emma Fox, Mary H. Frye, Lois M. Fulton, 
Florence J. Gaffney, Emily N. Goodwin, Mildred 

A. Haas, Prue Hamilton, Alma C. Hanson, Daisy 
M. Harding, Anna E. Harrold, Gertrude M. 
Hasty, Mildred F. Hawkins, M. Herendeen, 
Marion F. Hincks, Alice Horsfall, Dora Jane 
Isenberg, Helen Jackson, Julia M. Jenkins, Mary 

B. Jensen, Margaret Ann Johnson, Louise E. 
Kahler, Winnie Kessel, Henrietta A. Kilbourn, 
Elizabeth Knowlton, Lisbeth Krause, Vera C. 
Lange, Helen L. Larson, Katherine A. Leas, 
Wilma Levin, Margaret E. Mack, Lela E. Mc- 
Kinley, J. E. Merchant, Marion I. Merwin, Jerry 
Lee Michael, Henrietta K. Millet, Barbara 
Morris, G. J. Nembach, Susan P. Nichols, Anne 
J. Oates, Gretchen A. Palmer, Grace S. Park- 
hurst, Anna V. Patterson, Eula Lee Payton, Emma 
L. Roche, Loula Rockwell, Mary Z. Rowland, 
Margaret Steere Schmidt, Florence H. Shapple, 
Edna F. Shearman, Emily B. Shepard, Barbara 
Staples, Lorraine B. Stemmler, Catherine S. Still- 
man, Althea L. Stutzman, Emily R. Sugden, Mary 
Swayze, Helen M. Swett, Eva W. Swift, Mabel 
E. Swift, Edith C. Thompson, Caroline A. Turner, 
Alice Warnica, Ina Watson, Amanda Irene 
Weed, Evelyn E. West, Helen L. Wikoff, Char- 
lotta W. Wilson, Virginia A. Wilson, Anna C. 
Wind, Anna T. Wittke, Annie Rose Wyly, 
Lilian Zech. 

Maj. Gen. Wm. Lassiter. 

Very Rev. E. F. Salmon, D.D. 

Reverends Lucy T. Ayres, Michael I. Fronczak, 
Theodore R. Peters, Geo. H. Richardson. 

Doctors Harold M. Allen, C. D. Alton, V. V. An- 
derson, Vincent L. Ayres, Theodore L. Badger, 
Alice T. Baker, Arthur W. Benson, Robert Bless- 
ing, Kenneth E. Britzius, Tomas Cajigas, Earle 
M. Chapman, C. P. Clark, Isa Cojfmann, Giles 
A. Coors, Richard Derby, Stowell B. Dudley, G. 
R. Dunn, Banice Feinberg, Augustus H. Fiske, 
Gladys Charlotte Galligar, Leon Stuart Gordon, 
Rettig Arnold Griswold, James A. Guilfoil, 
Bengt Hamilton, R. A. Hefner, Lot D. Howard, 
Tryphena Humphrey, A. R. Johnston, D. O. 
Kearby, Joseph Krimsky, Roy S. Leadingham, 
Anna B. Lefler, Arthur C. Loper, William E. 
Lower, H. L. Mahood, Reginald D. Margeson, 
Herbert I. Margolis, Lay Martin, D. Morrison 
Masson, George M. Maxwell, Richard Meagher, 
J. W. McCammon, L. L. Metcalf, E. R. Mugrage, 
A. G. Nichol, Julius Olsen, James A. Polin, 
T. Eric Reynolds, Augustus S. Rose, Carl S. 
Schmucker, C. C. Sherburne, John D. Stewart, 
Denver M. Vickers, J. Lewis Webb. 



90 



NATURAL HISTORY, JUNE, 1 936 



Lieut. Colonel B. F. Crowson. 

Major B. C. Daly. 

Capt. K. F. Hertford. 

Lieut. John S. Kelly. 

Professors Leroy C. Glass, Edwin Thomas Hodge, 
Kate Ries Koch. 

Messrs. Jacob B. Abbott, Stuart C. Adams, Peter 
Aitchison, Elihu Dale Albert, Arthur W. Alex- 
ander, Quentin Alexander, Leopoldo Gomez 
Alonso, F. J. O. Alsop, B. Anderson-Stigen, Wm. 
D. Appel, H. W. Bailey, Robert Livingston 
Bailey, Edward C. Bailly, Jr., Clement W.Baker, 
Henry G. Balch, Richard Baldauf, Alfred T. 
Ball, Francis R. Bangs, Ralph Sylvester Bartlett, 
W. M. Bartlett, C. E. Basham, Courtenay Baylor, 
Robert P. Beal, Harry A. Beatty, L. F. R. Bel- 
lows, W. Hoffman Benjamin, Gerald A. Berting, 
Ralph Bienfang, B. S. Blake, A. A. Blumberg, 
Joseph M. Boland, Casper F. Bowser, E. A. 
Bradshaw, Sam W. Bradshaw, Benjamin H. 
Brinton, Earl Brooks, Wm. H. Brown, Starr 
Bruce, Edward F. Brundage, T. V. Buckwalter, 
F. J. Budd, Roger P. Bullard, James B. Bullitt, 
Melvin Burmeister, Russell H. Burno, Robert P. 
Burroughs, Stanley G. Burt, Chilton R. Cabot, 
Edward C. Cabot, E. B. Carbaugh, Philip S. 
Carlson, Harry A. Carpenter, Geo. S. Case, 
Ralph H. Chappell, Robert S. Chase, Thos. F. 
Chesebrough, Fermor Spencer Church, Harold T. 
Clark, Milo L. Cleveland, Oliver M. Clifford, 
Sam H. Cohn, Stuart Edgar Colie, Wm. Neville 
Collier, Louis D. Collins, Henry C. Conger, 
Charles Robert Connolly, H. C. Conway, Stuart 
P. Cooke, Amory Coolidge, William M. Corse, 
Edward Michael Corson, Michael George Cor- 
son, John F. Cosgrove, N. Cotsonas, Frank M. 
Cotton, Irving H. Cowdrey, John H. Cowles, 
J. B. Crane, Roger A. Crane, Eaton Cromwell, 
Frank H. Curtiss, Paul Russell Cutright, Hubert 
Damas, A. H. Davis, Arthur Davis, Cecil Clark 
Davis, Jay P. Dawley, R. S. Dawson, George H. 
Day, Jr., E. B. Daykin, Raymond G. DeFrees, 
Ralph B. Delano, Charles Winfred Deslandes, 
H. B. Dillehunt, Jr., William Henry Doolittle, 
Floyd Durham, Walter C. Ellis, Ernest F. Fadum, 
William S. Farish, Don Wayne Fawcett, Freder- 
ick W. Faxon, S. Prescott Fay, Harold H. Fen- 
wick, Redington Fiske, Richard E. Follett, James 
S. Franks, Frederic R. Freund, Richard A. 
Froehlinger, George Gaines, Homer V. Geib, 
Elvin D. George, Jerrold Gertz, Harry Ghelber, 
James H. Gilfoil, Jr., Richard Butler Glaenzer, 
Everett J. Gordon, Taylor B. Grant, Joseph B. 
Groce, Charles N. Gwinn, Albert E. Hadlock, Jr., 
Frederick Bulgin Haggerty, Byron Hall, James 
A. Hall, R. F. Hamilton, M. Guy Hardin, Walter 
A. Harris, Carl Hartman, E. Kirk Haskell, Philip 
M. Hatheway, D. A. Hawgood, R. H. Heald, 
F. M. Heermann, E. Heidrich, W. C. Le Heup, 
Gustav Heyss, George K. Higgins, Charles B. 
Hill, Jr., Kurt P. Hirsekorn, Moses Hirsh, 
Charles C. Hobart, Alex. G. Hoefler, Frank 
Woodall Hogan, Claude E. Holgate, Frederick 
C. Horner, J. B. L. Horsfall, James A. Hosford, 
Frank Hutchinson, R. Maxwell Ingham, John W. 



Ingle, Jr., Allan Jackson, James M. Jacobi, David 
L. Jobanson, F. Coit Johnson, Ivan Murray John- 
ston, Earl Jones, Orrin Jones, R. B. Juni, Donald 
r. Kaufmann, Towmend D. Keeler, Alden V. 
Keene, W. H. Kelsey, A. M. Kennedy, Harry P. 
Kibler, Shepard Kimberly, Julius King, Hilary 
Knight, K. E. Kovar, John .\. Kramer, II i, 
Kramer, Charles Kruger, Avery E. Lambert, 
David S. Lansden, Einar Larson, Frank LaRue, 
Robert Lehman, F. L. Lenlcer, Lippeni, Everett 
Locke, Fred A. Loew, John Loklcen, Hilton W. 
Long, J. Murray Luck, Hugh Lusk, Albert Lusiig, 
Paul Mahler, Herbert L. Malcolm, James H. ( 
Marlins, Shelton E. Martin, Thos. W. Mason, 
Pierre Matisse, Britton C. McCabe, Warren L. 
McCain, Edwin D. McKee, Donald Thomas Mc- 
Laughlin, Geo. von L. Meyer, Harry East Miller. 
Jr., George Greene Milliken, Harry Miner, J. C. 
Mohr, B. Moleikaitis, W. Gillespie Moore. C. W. 
Morrison, Hugh Whitney Morse, Sidney E. Morse, 
Frank E. Mullen, Charles E. Murphy, George 
Nelson, M. S. Nicholson, O. E. Niedringhaus, 
M. D. Nordstrom, E. J. Norman, Jr., Frank E. 
Noyes, S. Irving Noyes, Joseph R. Nutt, Jr., 
Clarence D. O'Connor, George O'Connor, Walter 
J. Ogden, Edward P. Oliver, Axel Olsen, Stephen 
L. O'Malley, John Pabst, Harlan G. Palmer, 
Robert Patterson, Jr., C. G. Paxson, Robert N. 
Pease, Eugene S. Pelack, Carl E. Pelz, Albert J. 
Perkins, Elwyn L. Perry, Frank B. Perry, A. H. C. 
Petersen, Joseph A. Pierce, Donald J. Plunkett, 
Ernest W. Porter, F. Carter Quinlin, Joseph C. 
Rennard, Michael D. Rich, Lloyd K. Riggs, Wil- 
liam H. Rippard, Wolcott P. Robbins, John L. 
Roemer, John G. Robinson, Walter S. Rodman, 
Bertram Rosenberg, F. W. Ross, Daniel S. 
Romig, Benjamin B. Roseboom, Carl M. Sangree, 
Jr., Robert Scharg, Frank A. Schilling, H. A. 
Schupp, Albert E. Schwartz, H. Winfield Scott, 
Walton H. Sears, G. V. Seccombe-Hett, G. H. 
Sexton, Edwin Raymond Shannon, Leslie D. 
Shaw, Albert C. Sherman, Jr., Franklyn Meigs 
Shotton, Richard S. Shuman, Franklin P. Shum- 
way, Charles S. Skilton, George M. Slocum, Din- 
widdie Smith, Kelvin Smith, Joseph Solomon, 
Irving Sporn, Robert M. Stabler, E. C. Starr, I.-L. 
Steinmuller, Albert M. Sterling, Stewart H. 
Stern, John M. Stetson, Wendell O. Stewart, John 
P. Stordahl, Clyde B. Stover, Harry C. Strieker, 
George R. Sturges, B. L. Surtees, Felix Svereika, 
William O. Sweet, E. Kent Swift, George A. 
Talbert, Frederick Thamann, W. F. Terrell, 
E. V. Thompson, Jr., A. D. Tinker, Warren 
Tomlinson, Rene Tondeur, Gardiner Trowbridge, 
Donald R. Utech, Robert B. Waring, Jr., A. L. 
Washburn, Archie A. Way, Miles W. Weeks, 
Carl R. Weidenmiller, Fay Welch, Roger L. 
Wensley, H. E. Werkheiser, Hubert Brooks 
Wheeler, James E. Wheeler, W. W. Wheeler, 
N. H. Wheless, B. D. White, Loring Q. White, 
Walter H. Whiton, Robert S. Wickham, Stanton 
Doane Wicks, A. N. Williams, James H. Wil- 
liams, Marvin Glenn Williams, Willis Robert 
Wilmore, George Wilmot, W. E. Winchester, 
John Wing, Arthur E. Woods, Andrew Wright, 
Dudley Yard, Boyd B. Young, Leon H. Young, 
Jr., Henry L. Zander, Fred R. Zimmerman. 



RECENTLY ELECTED MEMBERS 



91 



^ 




using MONEL METAL 

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NATURAL HISTORY 

The Magazine of the American Museum oj A atural 11 /story 

VOLUME XXXVIII * * * * SEPTEMBER 1936 



The Blue Shark Cot < r Pi ugn 

From a painting by Else Bostelmann 

He Gets the Iron Frontispiect 94 

Tigers of the Sea Col. Hugh I). Wisi 

The truth about sharks 

Ice from the Thunderclouds Charles Fitzhugh Talnian 109 

Hail — A $200,000,000 yearly menace: its cause and attempted prevention; 
record hailstones and hailstorms 

Flowers That "Go to Sleep" Frank S. Gehr 120 

The camera records the closing of petals at night 

Jose — 1936 Frank M. Chapman ] 20 

Further adventures of a little animal whose only friend was man 

The Desert Fish of Death Valley William V. Ward 135 

// seemed impossible that fish could exist in Death Valley, but there they 
were, survivors of the Ice Age 

The Tragedy of the Culbin Sands H. Mortimer Batten 143 

An amazing catastrophe which changed a section of the fair Scottish 
countryside into a miniature Sahara 

Your Treasure-House of Jewels George C. Yaillant 149 

4 review of "The Story of the Gems," by Herbert P. Whiiiock 

Mystery Animal Fred Streever 156 

A devotee of Natural History solves the mysterious killing of sheep and 
deer throughout New York State 

The Glamour of the Giant's Causeway Harriet Geithmann 106 

A visit to one of the most curious rock formations in the world 

Science in the Field and Laboratory 173 

Total Eclipse Photographed — Trophies from lndo-China — Swordfishing — Fall Lectures 

Your New Books D. R. Barton 178 

Men of Science — Island Lore — Jungle Nights — The Sky — A Lonesome Drum 



Publication Office: American Museum of Subscription's. Natural History is sent to all 
Natural History, Seventy-seventh Street and members of the American Museum as one of 
Central Park West, New York, N. Y. the privileges of membership. Membership 

Supervisor, Charles J. O'Connor. 
Editorial: Edward M. Weyer, Jr., Ph.D., Edi- 
tor; D. R. Barton, Frederick L. Hahn. Advertising: Sherman P. Voorhees, The Amer- 
ican Museum of Natural History. 
Manuscripts should be sent to the Editor, 
The American Museum of Natural History, Copyright, 1936, by The American Museum 
New York, N. Y. of Natural History, New York, N. Y. 




94 



He Gets the Iron 

Showing the latest tactics used against the most hated and feared 
creature of the sea: Colonel Wise, toward the finish of a hot fight 
ready to land a shark by the unusual technique which he has perfected 

NATURAL HISTORY, SEPTEMBER, 1 936 



Tigers of the Sea 



The truth about sharks, told by a man who has devoted 
years to outwitting them. The first of a series of three articles 



By Colonel Hugh D. Wise 

U. S. Army, Retired 

A compensation for hardships and un- 
certainties of active Army Life is the 
opportunity it affords for sport with 
rod and gun in many parts of the world. I 
have taken full advantage of this but omit 
here discussion of all but shark-fishing which I 
have pursued at home, in Cuba, in the Philip- 
pines, in Hawaii and in the Bahamas. 

My first exciting experience with the shark 
was as a youngster in my early teens. I used 
to go out on Matompkin Inlet, on the Atlantic 
side of the Eastern Shore of Virginia, with a 
crew of market fishermen. Those were wonder- 
ful days, when glorious fishing always ended 
in a sailing race between the fishing boats up 
Folly Creek to Drummondtown, each boat 
trying to be first to market. 

Taken for a ride 

One day, boy-like, I had gotten into the 
dory swinging astern of the "bateau" "Lottie 
Garrison" and was fishing there when a big 
Hammerhead whizzed past, turned and began 
slowly circling the boats. From my pocket I 
took a large hook which I had treasured there 
for weeks, tied it onto the end of the painter 
of the dory which was simply looped over a 
cleat on the "bateau." I baited it with a weak- 
fish and cast out. As it floated on the surface 
fifty feet away, the Hammerhead on his next 
turn took it with, a gulp — "Snap!" — The 
painter tightened and the dory's bow went 
almost underwater, bobbing up and down, 
while its stern skidded crazily from side to 
side. I managed to whip the loop free from 
the "bateau," scrambled over the thwarts to 



the stern of the dory, and got an oar into 
the sculling groove. So, holding the dory head- 
on, I was taken for a ride at speed hitherto 
never experienced by me in a small boat, for 
motors had not then been invented. 

"Where the — do you think you're going?" 
shouted Captain Billy Milner, as I scudded 
past. This was really a useless question, for 
no one could have had less idea than I had of 
where I was going. I was on my way, how- 
ever, and I was going fast. 

In chase 

I seem still to hear the unparliamentary re- 
marks shouted after me by that salt}' crew 
whose fishing I was spoiling at the very best 
of the tide, for Captain Billy, who felt some 
responsibility for me, had ordered fishing lines 
in and sails up. Overboard went his cable and 
he was after us, but we had a half-mile start 
before the "bateau," leaning to the breeze, was 
under headway. 

In a mile or so they had nearly overhauled 
us but my tug then suddenly changed its 
mind and we shot off to windward, giving our 
pursuers a two-mile beat of it before Captain 
Billy grabbed the dory's stern with a boat- 
hook and his crew dropped sails. Then shark, 
dory and "bateau" moved in procession at a 
somewhat slower speed until strong arms 
hauled in the offending shark and murdered 
him. By this time the crew, in the excitement 
of the chase, was no longer murderous in its 
intentions toward me and I was thrilling with 
delight at the sport I had given them, quite 
unpenitent of having spoiled their morning's 
catch. On the contrary, I think I was proud 
of having provided such an incident. From 
that time on I have been a confirmed shark- 



TIGERS OF THE SEA 



95 



fisher, but was too closely watched by Billy 
ever again to play that game when out with 
him. 

This shark had every temptation to attack 
the little dory, but he did not do it, nor since 
then, under similar circumstances, have I seen 
one do it. A lameness which I brought home 
with me from the World War put an end to 
my hunting and to my fishing on foot, but 
there had to be outlet for the sporting instinct 
developed in me by a life of service in the army 
with hunting and fishing around the world. 
Bass-fishing and blue-fishing were still prac- 
ticable and I enjoyed them but, in Hawaii and 
the East, I had had a taste, a good big taste, of 
angling for heavy sea fish and this had some- 
what marred my zest for pursuit of smaller 
varieties. Pegging away to find what I could 
do, I soon learned that though my stream- 
wading days were done, I could still be "hell 
in the swivel chair !" 

For many years I had had fun fishing in 
various ways for sharks, but now I took to 
angling for them with rod and reel at times 
when I could not reach other big fish and, in 
so doing, I developed for myself the somewhat 
unique or at least unusual game which I shall 
describe later. 

Glamourous combat 
There is a glamour to this fishing which 
comes with no other angling. I have tried to 
analyze its fascination, which seems really to 
be the zest of combat with the "Tiger of the 
Sea," for whom there is no feeling of pity to 
mar the exultation of victory. Even for the 
swordfish, which may be as big and as strong 
as most sharks, one feels a regret when he is 
killed; but, for the shark, there is no compas- 
sion — he is a pariah. When he is brought up, 
his glaring amber eyes evoke no feeling of 
kindliness and his snapping jaws, with dread- 
ful dagger teeth, convey only the impression 
that he is an armed enemy who would give no 
quarter and who is entitled to none. From the 
moment when he takes the hook, his capture is 
a fight — a fight which excites the lust to kill 
a predatory creature whose life is a menace 
to all other denizens of the sea, and whose 
death will make the angler their protector. 

A question sure to be asked when sharks are 
mentioned is: "Do sharks attack and kill 
men?" Whatever be the reply, there is likely 
to be a dispute, because the question, in such 



9 6 



simple form, cannot be definitely and au- 
thoritatively answered. 

Sharks do not go forth to stalk men as cats 
do mice nor to catch them as wolves do deer. 
Fish are the regular victims of even the most 
predatory sharks, and man, though probably 
an acceptable morsel, would be a most unex- 
pected addition to their menus. Nevertheless, 
sharks do occasionally get him. 

We can only guess at how much truth there 
may be in the yarns we hear of shark attacks, 
but there must be a more solid foundation than 
superstition and imagination for the general 
and real fear of sharks shared by practically 
all watermen, though few of them can cite 
cases of shark attacks within their own per- 
sonal knowledge. 

Killings 

There are countless instances of the eating 
of dead men by sharks, and there are many 
reports of their attacks upon live men. Both 
our War Department and our Navy Depart- 
ment officially report several such killings. 
Governor Pinchot tells of one such in Tahiti, 
and Captain William Young has collected in 
his book some authentic reports. Nevertheless, 
I have repeatedly seen soldiers from trans- 
ports, in shark-infested waters, swimming un- 
harmed about the ship and thousands of tour- 
ists watch natives diving for pennies at tropical 
ports, where harbors are teeming with sharks, 
without ever seeing a diver harmed by one. 

Probably the most dangerous species in our 
North Atlantic are the Great White Shark, 
the Great Blue Shark, and the Tiger Shark, 
none of which is really common in our waters, 
but it seems to be a generally accepted fact 
that sharks are more dangerous in the tropics 
where, incidentally, these species are common. 

To get facts in this much contended ques- 
tion of shark attacks on man, Mr. Herman 
Oelrichs, some years ago, offered, through 
New York papers, a reward of five hundred 
dollars for authentic information of such an 
attack in our waters, but the reward was never 
claimed. Similar rewards were later offered, 
and a number of papers took up the discus- 
sion which brought to light no credible in- 
stance in our zone though there were a num- 
ber in tropic waters. 1 

The late Dr. F. A. Lucas, of the American 
Museum of Natural History, quite thoroughly 

1 Brooklyn Museum Bulletin, Vol. 3, No. 1. 
NATURAL HISTORY, SEPTEMBER, 1 93 6 



Investigated this subject and he believed that 
the danger of being attacked by a shark in the 
vicinity of New York is "infinitely less than 
that of 7 being struck by lightning." Neverthe- 
less, periodic shark scares persist, and in one 
of these, in 1932, newspapers published alarm- 
ing casualties on our bathing beaches. Some 
resorts even safeguarded swimmers by wire 
fences in the surf and the barbs of these were 
probably more dangerous to the bathers than 
were the teeth of sharks. 

At the height of this excitement Mr. C. M. 
Breder, Jr., of the New York Aquarium, made 
a trip to study conditions in local waters, but 
found sharks no more numerous nor ferocious 
than usual and he concluded that most of the 
panic was probably due to publicity and ex- 
aggeration and that at that time there was not 
an authentic case of attack by sharks in our 
region. It is quite necessary to realize that 
there is a difference between shark bite and 
shark attack and that lack of caution may, and 
often does, result in severe laceration from the 
teeth or in a terrific wallop from the tail of a 
frightened or wounded shark. 

Danger zones 

In some parts of the world sharks are much 
more dangerous than they are with us and Dr. 
C. H. Townsend, Director of the New York 
Aquarium, has furnished an article* which 
should remove all skepticism as to whether 
sharks will attack men. He cites numerous 
instances in which men were attacked and 
devoured and tells of cases where not only 
were swimming men seized but also where 
sharks grabbed the oars or outriggers of boats. 

In Polynesia, the almost amphibious natives 
regard the shark with a dread akin to that of 
the African for the lion, though the shark takes 
less toll in human life because he cannot stalk 
his prey, as does the lion, on land. 

In Australia, the shark is a greater danger 
than he is with us. Especially is he a menace 
in Sydney Harbor where his predatory habits 
have doubtless been encouraged by the custom 
of disposing of slaughter-house refuse in the 
bay and so chumming up the sharks. 

In the Solomon Islands, sharks are singu- 
larly bold and ferocious, which may be ac- 
counted for by the custom of disposing of the 
dead by throwing their bodies into the sea — 

•Bulletin 34, N. Y. Zool. Society, Vol. XXXIV. No. 6, 
1931. 



thus literally training the sharks to eat men. 

Interesting conclusions of Doctor Town- 
send are that sharks of tropical waters are 
more ferocious than those of temperate zones, 
that sharks are more dangerous at night than 
in day, and that the most dangerous time is 
dusk. Also he believes that large sharks are not 
necessarily more dangerous than those not so 
large and that all sharks are particularly 
dangerous when swarming on feeding grounds. 

This all seems to confirm my own belief 
that, while sharks do not set out on man-hunts, 
they will, under favorable circumstances, at- 
tack man, especially if impelled by hunger, 
excitement or the blood-scent, and that they 
are particularly dangerous when in feeding 
swarms. 

It is going a little strong to say, as recently 
did one scientist, that a shark will not attack 
man unless he gets the blood-scent for, though 
that unquestionably excites him, there are many 
authentic cases where he has attacked without 
it. Nevertheless, it is my opinion that a shark, 
except when surprised, attacked, or greatly 
excited, rarely attacks a man whom he does 
not believe to be dead or helpless; and I be- 
lieve that, except in self-defense, a shark pre- 
fers to avoid anything which might fight back. 
It is prudent, however, not to risk being the 
victim in an exceptional case. Since the angler, 
if he accepts my advice, will try to stay in 
his fair-sized motor boat, the man-eating ten- 
dencies of sharks are not of immediate im- 
portance, nor is it here necessary to convict or 
acquit the shark of anthropophagy. Suffice it 
to say that I do not recommend him as play- 
mate at a bathing beach. 

A bad moment 

On one occasion in the Philippines I was 
shark-fishing from a canoe. A big Tiburone 
was towing us around, when he suddenly 
turned and rushed head-on against the boat. 
His impact threw the two paddlers and me 
into the bottom of the boat and, as I wallowed 
there, I had a distinct sense of relief when I 
felt the rope tauten as the shark, having 
swung away, took up the slack. This might 
make a fine story of a shark attack, but I am 
afraid that I will have to admit that the shark 
had no intention of attacking that boat but 
simply collided with it in his frantic efforts to 
escape. 

This large, ubiquitous and abundant fish 



TIGERS OF THE SEA 



97 



which, except to a few sportsmen, has for 
centuries been but a nuisance, has recently 
become of economic value, and commercial 
companies are now engaging in shark-fishing 
as a profitable enterprise. Their catches taken 
in large specially constructed nets, are meas- 
ured by tons and practically all of this weight 
of fish is utilized. Formerly, shark hide or 
"shagreen" was used mainly as an abrasive, 
like sandpaper, and it was of great service for 
cleaning decks. Its non-slippery quality made 
it useful for sword hilts and tool handles and 
its durability for bags and pocketbooks; only 
recently a process of tanning was discovered 
which effectively and economically removes 
the denticles of the skin, and thus converts the 
hide into a beautiful leather of superior tough- 
ness and durability, called "galuchat." 

The liver of a shark may be a fourth or a 
fifth of his weight and oil from the liver, about 
four gallons from a six-footer, is used in tem- 
pering steel, in paint, and in many other com- 
mercial ways. Medicinally, it has been found 
to possess vitamins which make it a rival of 
cod liver oil. 

Shark as food 

Dried fins, used for the famous shark-fin 
soup, bring good prices wherever there is a 
Chinese population, and quantities of them are 
exported to China. 

Certain varieties of shark whose flesh is 
especially fine of texture and delicate of flavor, 
are marketed as "steak fish" and "grey fish," 
others are salted and packed, while plugs 
punched from shark steaks and ray fins and 
doped with clam juice, become "deep sea 
scallops." The less desirable flesh is dried and 
ground into poultry meal and the remainder 
is reduced to fertilizer. 

The prejudice against eating shark meat 
seems largely due to the idea that sharks are 
scavengers as, in fact, some of them are, though 
no more than most other fishes and crustaceans, 
especially crabs and lobsters ; and I know of at 
least one famous trout pool which is close to a 
sewer outlet. Many people enjoy shark meat 
without suspecting what they are eating. 

Once, while watching my boatman skin and 
trim a two hundred pounder, I asked, "What 
are you going to do with that shark?" 

Grinning, he replied, "This was shark — 
now it is just fish — tomorrow, in the market, 
it will be swordfish." 



A serious charge against the shark and one 
which can be sustained, is the great damage he 
does to fish-traps and nets, and the tremendous 
toll he takes of fish which men want for them- 
selves. This indictment of the shark may serve 
to salve the conscience of the sportsman who 
goes forth to assassinate him. Certainly it will 
make easier the getting of bait because seine- 
men are ever ready to contribute trash fish for 
a fight against their arch-enemy. 

One of the sea's leviathans 

The shark belongs to one of the largest and 
commonest orders of fishes of the present times 
and is also one of the oldest living vertebrates. 
He has come down from past geological ages 
little changed except in size, for, big though 
he now is, he was larger then, fossil remains 
showing that he may have been over a hun- 
dred feet in length. 

One almost needs logarithms to calculate 
the weight of such a fish but, since his length, 
exclusive of caudal fin, would be about 974 
inches and his girth about 450 inches, his 
weight, by a rather reliable formula, would 
be: 



45° 2 X 974 



246,543 lbs. — or about 123 tons 



Such conjectures aside, there is in the Ameri- 
can Museum of Natural History the recon- 
structed jaw of one of the leviathans which 
swam the seas when glaciers covered the 
northern part of our continent. The fossil teeth 
of the Carcharodon, averaging 4% inches in 
length, found in the Tertiary deposits of North 
Carolina, are set in a jaw modelled after the 
jaw of the White Shark, his nearest living 
relative. This jaw would easily take in a 
four-poster bed and, from the estimated length 
of the fish, we can calculate his weight as over 
thirty-eight tons. 

It is remarkable how little is known of the 
habits and characteristics of this oldest and 
largest of our common fishes. Even Garman, 
the recognized authority on shark taxonomy, 
barely touches upon this subject. Sharks have 
swum the waters of our globe for more than 
three hundred million years but much about 
them still remains a mystery. Let a man em- 
bark upon an investigation of them and he will 
soon find himself engulfed in such a welter of 
scientific fact, unsubstantiated legend, imagina- 



NATURAL HISTORY, SEPTEMBER, 1 93 6 



tive folk-lore and plain garden variety of fish 
story, that he is hopelessly swamped. He will 
probably conclude that he is dealing with "all 
kinds of a fish" as, in fact, he is, for the order, 
Plagiostomia, includes the huge Manta and the 
little Skate, the great Whale Shark and the 
small Dogfish, the vicious White Shark and 
the cowardly Nurse. There are among the 
sharks deep-sea flesh-eaters and shoal water 
mollusk-feeders. They are found beneath Arc- 
tic ice and on tropic coral reefs. They cruise 
mid-ocean and haunt the waters of coastal 
marshes, but, wherever sharks may be, they are 
undisputed masters, and upon their slithering 
approach all other denizens fin away. Whether 
harmless to man or a menace to him they are 
hideous and they are hated. 

Face inspires dread 

There may be justification for this hatred 
of the savage predatory shark and for the de- 
scriptive "hideous," usually applied to him, 
but in fact it is only his face, with leering 
sinister eyes and dreadful spiked teeth, which 
makes him hideous, otherwise his graceful form 
and delicate shade would make him beautiful. 
No creature of the sea is so gracefully lithe as 
the shark, silently gliding through the water, 
but none is so terribly fearsome as he when he 
dashes at his prey. 

In his physical structure, the shark is highly 
specialized to meet conditions under which he 
exists, while, as a vital organism, he presents 
some features which are almost unique. Con- 
spicuous among these are his spiral valvular 
digestive tract and his dual organ of repro- 
duction. For a fish, he has a well developed 
brain, his sense of smell is acute and his hear- 
ing is supplemented by nerves, which are ex- 
tremely sensitive to vibration. 

There is no air-bladder, as there is in most 
fishes, so the shark, deprived of this means of 
changing his specific gravity, must regulate 
his depth by muscular effort, in other words, 
by swimming; he is therefore rarely seen 
quiescent. 

In nearly all species of true sharks, a long, 
lithe, muscular, fusiform body tapers from its 
largest part, about a third of its length back 
of the nose, forward into a pointed conical 
head and aft into a long, round, graceful tail 
or peduncle, which terminates in a large swal- 
low-tailed caudal fin, or fluke. 

Different from the swimming of most fishes 



and characteristic of that of the shark are the 
sinuous undulations of his body by which he 
supplements caudal-fin propulsion and this 
gives to him a peculiar slithering, ghost-like 
glide. His litheness is in large part due to the 
absence from his body of stiff bones, for his 
frame is mainly of heavy cartilage ; his only 
fossil remains are the enamelcd-covered teeth. 

Over his cartilaginous framework is stretched 
his truly marvelous muscular system covered 
by a denticled hide, so tough and so protected 
by small, close-set, horny scales as to defy all 
but sharp, well tempered instruments and al- 
most to justify the saying that "only a shark 
can bite a shark." 

The first dorsal fin, usually large and erect, 
is much larger than the second dorsal, the anal 
and the ventrals. Pectorals are usually long 
and sickle-shape. The size, shape, and position 
of all of these fins vary with different species 
and are to be noted as important clues to 
identification. Only the caudal fin, which is 
also important for identification, is important 
in propulsion ; other fins being used mainly for 
balancing and guiding. 

Near the ventral fins, in male sharks, are 
found the "claspers," which might be mistaken 
for fins but which, in fact, are sexual organs. 

Gill-openings are usually five (in some spe- 
cies, seven) parallel vertical slits which are 
not covered as in other fishes, and the spacing 
of these slits is another clue for species identi- 
fication. 

Teeth 

The mouth, situated beneath the head, the 
nose projecting well beyond it, gives to the 
shark the familiar, disagreeable "overshot" ex- 
pression. The mouth is of enormous size and 
is sometimes supplied with as many as seven 
visible, parallel, curved rows of teeth. Only the 
front two or three of these rows are functional, 
those in the rear being in successive stages of 
development and inclination backward while 
still more rows have not made their appear- 
ance. The teeth are not set in the bone of the 
jaw but grow from the hardened skin of the 
mouth. As this skin grows forward the teeth 
develop and rise to vertical position and the 
rows are successively shed over the front edge 
of the mouth. The fish is thus constantly pro- 
vided with new dentition and this explains 
why so many shark teeth are found on the 
shore and why fossil teeth are so abundant. 



TIGERS OF THE SEA 



99 



The difference between teeth of species is a 
valuable means of identification as well as evi- 
dence of the habits of sharks of each species. 

Most sharks either bite and swallow their 
food down large gullets, as do the White, the 
Blue and the Mackerel, or they crush it as do 
mollusk-eaters, like the Nurse and the Dog- 
fish — none of them chew and masticate. Some 
species, notably the great Whale Shark*, feed 
on small fishes, jelly fishes, small crustaceans 
and algae which pass down their small throats 
after being strained from huge volumes of 
water by their gill-brushes. For obvious rea- 
sons, their teeth are small, and one family, the 
Basker, substitutes for teeth a brush-like ap- 
paratus which serves as a sieve. 

Even in the group which we may call "bit- 
ing swallowers" there are different tooth 
shapes for the different species and this helps 
distinguish them. The Mackerel Shark has 
long pointed teeth, the White has broadly tri- 
angular ones ; the Hammerhead combines these 
puncturing and cutting qualities in his narrow 
triangular teeth and the Tiger Shark's teeth 
are large, broad and sickle-shaped. The broad 
and rather flat teeth of mollusk-feeders are 
set like paving tiles and sometimes are prac- 
tically jointed together. 

Fast swimming species feed usually on live 
fish which they pursue and capture, but slower 
ones may have to content themselves with mol- 
lusks, crustaceans or even with offal. In general, 
however, the shark is not a carrion feeder. 

One objective — food 

With their equipment for offense and de- 
dense, sharks have naught to fear in the sea 
where no other fish will attack them, where 
their only danger is from other sharks, where 
their whole existence is but a continuous search 
for food to satisfy insatiable appetite. The 
shark is always hungry — he suffers from incur- 
able belly-ache. Be it live fish, dead fish, flesh 
or fowl, all is grist for the shark's mill and he 
is always on a predatory prowl after it. Never 
does he seem to rest. His big fins appear above 
the surface, or beneath it he slithers in from 
nowhere, but he is always headed for the same 
objective — food. 

*Dr. E. W. Gudger has written on the Whale Shark 
in the following numbers of Natural History: January- 
February, 1923, p. 62; March-April, 1930, p. 182; Septem- 
ber, 1935, p. 128; and February, 1936, p. 159; in Bulletin 
of the American Museum of Natural History, 1935; and in 
Novitates No. 318 1928. 



What may be the span of the natural life 
of a shark is yet undetermined for he has no 
scales, whose rings might tell his age, and his 
teeth are but temporary equipment. It is doubt- 
ful, however, whether many sharks live out 
their natural lives for, if ever they lose, even 
temporarily, the capacity to defend themselves, 
other sharks are quick to kill and eat them. 

Sharks are the most cannibalistic of canni- 
bals and in large ones are often found smaller 
ones which have been devoured. Dr. E. W. 
Gudger, of the American Museum of Natural 
History, has published a most thorough and 
instructive paper on shark cannibalism, in 
which he shows that practically all sharks prey 
upon other sharks as well as upon their cousins, 
the skates and rays.* 

Powers of digestion • 

I once saw taken from the stomach of an 
eight-foot shark, a three-footer which had been 
swallowed whole. To appreciate that gas- 
tronomic accomplishment, one must remember 
not only the size of the morsel but also the 
sharp teeth, the hard stiff fins, capable of cut- 
ting a heavy line, and the tough denticled hide 
which defies ordinary tanning processes. One 
wonders at gastric juices which can digest such 
things as are taken from the stomachs of 
sharks ; for example, a horse's hoof with the 
iron shoe on it — the bones had been completely 
dissolved, the horn casing was softened to the 
consistency of leather and the iron was being 
rapidly corroded. Could doctors use shark 
juice instead of pig juice to get pepsin? In 
this digestive fluid there is a very high content 
of hydrochloric acid, and I have seen it remove 
the varnish when spilled on a deck. 

Nevertheless, we read in Darwin's Voyage 
of the Beagle — "I have heard from Doctor 
Allan, of Forres, that he has frequently found 
a Diodonf, floating alive and distended in the 
stomach of a shark; and that on several occa- 
sions he has known it to eat its way, not only 
through the coats of the stomach, but through 
the sides of the monster, which has thus been 
killed. Who would ever have imagined that a 
little soft fish could have destroyed the great 
savage shark?" — Who would imagine it? We 
must say, like Charles Dana, "Important if 
true," but we may conjecture at least that 

*Gudger, E. W. — "Cannibalism among Sharks and Rays," 
Scientific Monthly, May, 1932. 

tA species of puffer fish. 



NATURAL HISTORY, SEPTEMBER, 1 936 



the Diodon had an uncomfortable swim. 

It is not uncommon for sharks to attack an- 
other shark when he is held on a line and to 
bite great chunks out of him and it is still more 
common to find sharks which have been par- 
tially devoured while they were enmeshed in 
nets. Apparently, they live in armed neutrality, 
but when one of them becomes disabled or 
helpless his comrades give him short shrift. 

Speaking of the slashing of one shark by 
another brings to mind the old superstition that 
a shark must turn on his back or side to bite. 
To one who has watched sharks take the bait 
and who has seen them bite one another, this 
is, of course, utter nonsense. A shark's eyes 
are not well placed for forward-downward 
vision, so he may have to roll for better view; 
and, frequently, the roll is but the preliminary 
of his dash at an object. 

Another foolish idea is that female sharks 
swallow their young to protect them, disgorg- 
ing them when captured. The fact is that, on 
capture, viviparous females often give birth 
to their young and, incidentally, it may sur- 
prise you to see how self-reliantly the pups 
swim away when tossed overboard. 

An arrant coward 

Contrary to popular idea, the shark is wary, 
almost timid, for monster though he is, he is 
averse to taking chances. He is however, pos- 
sessed of a curiosity which sometimes urges 
him on and makes him appear bold when, in 
fact, he is terrified ; but at heart, if his heart 
be aught but a blood-pump, he is an arrant 
coward. 

Nothing could better illustrate the curiosity 
and the timidity of sharks than an incident 
related in Captain Young's book. A diver 
working with him in Hawaii was constantly 
surrounded by curious sharks which, however, 
did not molest him; but, when they nosed up 
uncomfortably close, the diver released some 
air bubbles from his wrist-band and this sent 
them gliding away. 

Even a large shark, with a large skull, has 
but a handful of brain-matter for the brain- 
cavity is only partly filled. Nevertheless, this 
handful seems to provide him with a dispro- 
portionate amount of suspicion and with per- 
ception enough to beware of a bait tied onto a 
string. I have seen sharks rush furiously up 
to a bait then stop, draw back and examine it, 



but they would instantly seize and gobble an 
identical free bait floated out to them. 

Usually a shark does not take the bait with 
a rush but will first seize it in his teeth before 
swallowing it. When, however, he has decided, 
he takes it with a gulp. 

Blood lust 

However hesitant sharks may ordinarily 
be, all hesitation leaves them with the smell 
of fresh blood, which puts them into a frenzy. 
Testing this one day when several sharks were 
cautiously nosing at my bait, I poured over 
the boatside some blood from a recently cap- 
tured shark. Instantly one of the investiga- 
tors seized the bait and the others went frantic. 
Taking advantage of this characteristic, I have 
always since then bled newly caught sharks 
over the gunwale, usually with good results. 

Under skin-flaps in the anterior portion of 
a shark's head are two large nostrils and as 
his olfactory organs are excellent, his sense 
of smell is acute. He gets the blood-scent at 
amazing distances and rushes toward it. Lit- 
erally, it seems to make him see red. 

For this reason, blood is good chum and 
there is no better chum than the warm rich 
blood of the porpoise, though any blood, from 
fish, fowl or animal, will attract sharks. 

When not excited by the blood-scent, sharks 
are surprisingly wary and alert. As they circle 
the boat, their unblinking yellow eyes are ever 
on watch, and their sensitive nerves are always 
atune. A wave of the hand or a sudden noise 
sends them gliding away, to return, probably, 
when impelled by irresistible curiosity or in- 
satiable appetite. 

By "noise," I mean vibration or jar in the 
water, for I have observed that they do not 
seem to be afraid of other noises, such as loud 
talking, for example. To try this out, I have 
even shouted at sharks swimming close to the 
boat without alarming them in the least, but 
a bang on the boat-bottom sent them dashing 
away. Nevertheless, for some unknown reason, 
talking seems to make them timid about tak- 
ing the bait. 

Most sharks are very moderately gregarious 
but, where one is found, there will probably 
be others, temporarily together, because their 
individual searches have led them to that place 
on the trail of food. When their maws are 
filled, or when the possibilities of the locality 
are exhausted, they will leave to resume their 



TIGERS OF THE SEA 



IOI 



ceaseless prowls in search of more food. 
In most sharks there is little instinct to 
school, like the bluefish for example, though 
some of the smaller species do at times swarm, 
and Nurse Sharks and certain Sand Sharks 
assemble in great numbers in shallow water 
at breeding season. 

No admirable traits 

Being masters of the sea, sharks need not 
join for defense; community of interest does 
not exist in their selfish, individualistic natures, 
and, in their lives, every fish is for himself. 
Most animals and many fishes unite against 
common foes but sharks do not, unless there 
be prospect of a feast after the battle. 

Even a ewe will fight for her offspring, but 
I have never heard of such action by a female 
shark. When her pups are born she is done 
with them. 

In the study of animals, or even of fishes, 
a man usually finds something likable about 
them, but in the monstrous, cruel, cowardly 
shark he can find not one admirable trait — he 
is simply a tiger. 

The white fishermen of the "Eastern Shore" 
detest sharks because of the loss they suffer 
from them, but, to this detestation, the colored 
population add a superstitious dread. Of the 
colored men about my father's place, Silas, 
alone, was ever ready to go fishing with me 
and I always wanted him because he saved 
me the labor of stepping masts and hoisting 
anchor. One day we took with us Tom, a 
young man who affected to share the con- 
tempt which Silas had for sharks, and who 
kept repeating Silas' slogan: "Dey kaint hurt 
yer in de boat." 

We were soon hung onto a big shark which 



they were hauling in while I, at the tiller, 
maneuvered the skiff to give them slack. In the 
process of these operations, the shark swished 
the rope across the stern, and, catching Tom's 
leg, threw him overboard. He could swim, 
and all he had to do was to get hold of the 
rope and haul aboard by it but the idea of a 
shark at the other end of that rope, fifty yards 
away, was so horrible that Tom was deprived 
of reason and, his eyes rolling white while 
the tide took him back, he simply howled : 
"Bring dat boat! Oh Lord, get dat shark 
outen here! Oh Lord, take dat shark away!" 

When we finally hauled Tom (and the 
shark) aboard, Tom was given the honor of 
being allowed to bash in the shark's head with 
a hatchet. At the first wallop, the shark 
opened and snapped his jaws. 

"Shut yer mouf, Shark!" yelled Tom, with 
another wallop, "I'se seed all I wants ter see 
of dem teeths — an' I'se done felt 'em too- — 
tearin' through my gizzard when I was back 
thar in de water wid yer!" 

The shark's tenacity of life is amazing. He 
seems to be immune to nervous shock, cruel 
wounds affect him only slightly, and he re- 
mains dangerous a long time out of water. I 
have seen a shark, whose liver had been re- 
moved for chum, swim strongly away and I 
once saw a boatman knocked over the gunwale 
by a shark which had been in the boat nearly 
an hour. 

In the next month's Natural History 
Colonel Wise will narrate a number of excit- 
ing encounters he has had with sharks off the 
eastern coast of the United States while per- 
fecting the rod-and-reel methods of which he 
is chiefly the originator. 



Hammerhead Shark 



Drawn by Else Bostelmann 




NATURAL HISTORY, SEPTEMBER, 1 93 6 



Tigers of the Sea 




(Plwtograpli by James Thompson from Globe) 



The shark has recently become of commercial 
value, and companies are profitably fishing for 
him. Their catches are measured by tons, and 
practically all of the fish is utilized. Large nets 
are generally used, but in the above photograph 
we see a Mako Shark about to be harpooned 
after a two-hour battle with hook and line 

Shark fishermen hauling in a Nurse Shark to 
be converted into shoe leather. Formerly, shark 
hide or "shagreen" was used mainly as an 
abrasive, like sandpaper, and for covering tool 
handles. Recently a process for removing the 
rough denticles of the skin has made it possible 
to convert shark skin into a beautiful and ser- 
viceable leather, called galuchat 

(Globe Photo) 

TIGERS OF THE SEA 



103 



Snapping jaws and thrashing tail make the 
task of landing a shark dangerous. A harpoon 
or swordfish dart is generally driven into the 
fish when it is brought alongside, but it is well- 
nigh impossible to judge when he is dead. The 



author of the accompanying article has seen 
a shark whose liver had been removed swim 
strongly away, and on one occasion a shark 
which had been in the boat nearly an hour 
knocked a boatman over the gunwale 



(Photo by Rudolph H. Hoffman, from Black Star) 




IO4 



NATURAL HISTORY, SEPTEMBER, 1 93 6 



(Beloiv) At tin rail a death-blou is ki>iI\ 
delivered on the snout, when tht shark's 
brain lies close to the surface. 

Mondial e from M, t , I. Stai | 




(Above) The shark runs his head through 
the net and in threshing about entangles his 
fins. At the surface a large iron hook is 
fastened through his jaws and he is then 
hauled out with a derrick 



TIGERS OF THE SEA 



I0 5 





■ of E. M. Schentz 



(Above) Tons of Tiger Sharks: a haul of the National 
Fisheries Corporation ready for processing 
The liver of a six-foot shark will yield four gallons of oil, 
useful in tempering steel, in making paint, and in many other 




106 



NATURAL HISTORY, SEPTEMBER, I 93 6 




Courtesy of E. M. Seheuts 



commercial ways. Medicinally, shark liver oil possesses vita- 
mines which make it a rival of cod liver oil 
(Below) A 24-hour catch of Tiger and other sharks off the 
A ustralian coast (Mondiale from Black Star) 




TIGERS OF THE SEA 



107 




(Courtesy of E. M. Sc/ieutz) 

A big Tiger. This fellow will provide leather 
for shoes, bags, belts, and pocketbooks; ten 
gallons of oil and lots of shark fin soup 



(Mondiale from Black Star) 



Tanned hide of a shark: 42 square feet of 
leather. Before the denticles are removed the 
"shagreen" is useful for sanding and cleaning 
decks 



Leather and shoe made 
from the tanned skin of 
the smaller carpet shark, 



(Mondiale from Black Star) 




so called because of the 
pattern 



108 



NATURAL HISTORY, SEPTEMBER, 1 93 6 



Ice from the Thunderclouds 

Hail — A $200,000,000 yearly menace; its cause and 
attempted prevention; record hailstones and hailstorms that changed 
the course of history 



By Charles Fitzhugh Talman 

Late Meteorological Consultant, 
U. S. Weather Bureau 

When a record of weather occurrences 
tells us that hail has fallen, the state- 
ment may seem definite to the layman 
but often raises a question in the mind of the 
meteorologist. For centuries people talked and 
wrote about hail before it occurred to men of 
science to inquire whether one and the same 
thing was always described under this name. 

What is hail? 

There are at least three different kinds of 
icy lumps and pellets that fall from the sky, 
and they have all been called hail. What 
science now regards as true hail occurs only in 
connection with thunderstorms, either incipient 
or fully developed, and therefore chiefly in 
warm weather. It often falls in tornadoes, but 
probably only when these occur in a thunder- 
storm area. Hail, as thus distinguished, consists 
of balls or irregular lumps, each of which, on 
examination, is usually found to have an 
opaque snow-like center, surrounded by ice, 
which is often in alternately clear and opaque 
layers. 

The second class of icy particles takes the 
form of miniature snowballs, about the size 
of large shot or small peas. It falls in cold 
weather, often in conjunction with ordinary 
snow. Because it readily crumbles, English- 
speaking meteorologists have commonly called 
it "soft hail"; but this term is now giving 
way to the Germain name "graupel." 

Lastly, little pellets or angular particles of 
clear ice sometimes fall in cold weather. These 
frozen drops, though fairly common, have, 



until recently, enjoyed the distinction of being 
anonymous, so far as the scientific world was 
concerned. In the year 1916, the United States 
Weather Bureau took the bull by the horns 
and decreed that such ice particles should be 
called "sleet" — a word, alas! of many 
meanings. 

A clue to the origin of hail is furnished by 
the appearance of the typical hailstone. The 
successive layers of clear and snowy ice are 
evidently acquired in the course of several 
journeys up and down, between relatively cold 
and relatively warm regions of the atmosphere, 
before the stone finally falls to earth. At high 
levels the incipient hailstone is coated with 
snow, and at lower levels with rain, which 
turns to ice as the stone is again carried aloft. 
Probably the only place where such a process 
could occur is in the turbulent uprush of air at 
the front of a thunderstorm, consisting, as it 
does, of blasts violent enough to drive a heavy 
hailstone upward, alternating with lulls that 
would permit it to fall. 

Red hail 

Most hailstones are approximately spherical 
or somewhat conical, but other and very strik- 
ing shapes are sometimes found. Occasionally 
the surface is encrusted with curious crystalline 
growths. Red hail is not unknown. As in many 
cases of red rain and snow, the color is due to 
fine dust in the atmosphere, generally blown up 
from deserts. 

Many descriptions of hailstorms tell of a 
roaring or rattling sound heard during the ap- 
proach of the storm and apparently coming 
from the clouds. Some writers compare it to 
that of heavy vehicles passing over a road or 
the clatter of many horses' hoofs. Typical of 



ICE FROM THE THUNDERCLOUDS 



IO9 



the accounts of it found in the older works on 
meteorology is the following from a once 
standard treatise by Professor Loomis : 

"Some seconds before the fall of hail, and 
occasionally several minutes, a peculiar crack- 
ling noise is heard in the air. It has been com- 
pared to the noise of walnuts violently shaken 
up in a bag. This noise has been ascribed to the 
great velocity with which the hailstones are 
driven through the air, while some have 
ascribed it to feeble electrical discharges from 
one hailstone to another." 

The noise has not been the subject of much 
critical investigation, but the best guess as to 
its origin is probably that offered as long ago 
as the year 1885 by the French meteorologist, 
J. N. Plumandon. According to this authority 
it does not come from the air or the clouds, but 
is merely the combined sound of many hail- 
stones falling on leaves, roofs and the like at 
some distance from the observer. When the 
storm is actually at hand, the observer hears 
the patter of individual stones in place of the 
mingled noises of a great number. 

Big tales of big hailstorms 

India is the home of big hailstorms and of 
big tales concerning them. Many of these 
storms have cost from half a dozen to a dozen 
human lives, one is supposed to have killed 84 
people, and another is known to have killed 
three times that number. It appears, also, that 
Indian hailstones assume remarkable sizes, but 
it is not necessary to take too seriously the rec- 
ords of four cases that Dr. George Buist, 
F.R.S., reported to the British Association in 
i855. 

"One," he says, "near Seringapatam, in the 
end of the eighteenth century, is said to have 
been the size of an elephant. It took three days 
to melt. In 1826 a mass of ice nearly a cubic 
yard in size fell in Khandesh. In April, 1838, 
a mass of hailstones, 20 feet in its largest di- 
ameter, fell at Dharwar. On May 22, 1838, 
after a violent hailstorm 80 miles south of 
Bangalore, an immense block of ice consisting 
of hailstones cemented together was found in a 
dry well." 

Dr. Buist recognized the fact that in all 
four of these cases the icy masses must have 
been aggregations of numerous hailstones 
frozen together, but he seems to have believed 
that in some cases the coalescence of the stones 



might have occurred in the midst of a vortex 
or whirlwind before the hailstones reached the 
ground. This idea can hardly be entertained at 
the present time. It is safe to say that, if blocks 
of ice of the sizes reported were actually found 
after hailstorms, they were formed by the 
freezing together of hailstones lying closely 
packed together on the earth. 

Nearly all records of exceptionally big hail- 
stones are vitiated by some degree of uncer- 
tainty as to whether the reported masses of ice 
fell as such or were formed by coalescence after 
falling. So far as I am aware, the biggest cred- 
ibly reported object that, from its appearance 
and the circumstances of its fall, may be safely 
assumed to have been a single hailstone was 
one that fell through the tile roof of a house 
in the village of Heidgraben, Germany, Au- 
gust 19, 1925. The stone was picked up on the 
floor of the upper story and measured, and the 
dimensions were found to be 9.8 x 5.5 x 4.7 
inches. Unfortunately it was not weighed. If 
it had consisted entirely of ordinary ice its 
weight would have been about 4j4 pounds, but 
a hailstone is composed partly of snow-like ice, 
containing much imprisoned air, so that it is 
less dense than pure ice and the actual weight 
must have been considerably less than this. 

Pound and a half stone 

The biggest hailstone thus far on record for 
the United States fell at Potter, Cheyenne 
County, Nebraska, July 6, 1928. It was ap- 
proximately spherical, and when broken open 
was found to consist of concentric layers of 
alternately clear and snowy ice around a com- 
mon center, showing that it was a single stone. 
It was 1 7 inches in circumference and weighed 
a pound and a half. 

Since, as I have stated, a hailstone grows 
gradually in the air in the course of its up- 
ward and downward journeys, the size it even- 
tually attains depends upon its density, its 
shape and the strength of the vertical air cur- 
rent that supports it just before it falls to 
earth. Judging from the meager data we 
possess concerning the maximum violence of 
thunderstorm updrafts, it would seem that 
something less than five pounds is the extreme 
possible weight of a hailstone, while a two- 
pound hailstone would deserve a place in a 
museum if it could be preserved there. 

There is a proverb in eastern Europe that 



NATURAL HISTORY, SEPTEMBER, 1 93 6 



says: "Hail brings not hunger." This refers 
to the fact that although, where hail falls, the 
crops may be annihilated, the damage is never 
so widespread as to cause a general famine. A 
hailstorm is always confined to a relatively 
small area — much smaller than that of the 
thunderstorm of which it is an episode — 
though its narrow track may be scores or even 
hundreds of miles in length. Thus it happens 
that although a great many destructive hail- 
storms occur every year, the majority of hu- 
man beings never experience one in the course 
of their lives. 

Another result of the sporadic and local 
character of hailstorms is that, though statis- 
tics of hail occurrence are collected in most 
civilized countries, many of these storms fail 
to be recorded. In the United States the 
Weather Bureau collects reports of hailstorms 
from something like 5,000 observers and ob- 
tains many additional reports from press dis- 
patches, which are carefully checked up at the 
various "section centers," where climatological 
data are assembled. 

Damage from hailstorms 

The Bureau has averaged the data of dam- 
aging hailstorms and published it in chart 
form. In this chart the country is divided into 
equal sections 100 miles square (area 10,000 
square miles), and figures show the average 
annual frequency of damaging hailstorms with- 
in each of these sections. 

The largest figures, showing from two to 
between four and five storms a year, are found 
in an irregular belt that includes Kansas, Iowa 
and parts of Indiana, Ohio and southern 
Michigan, while in much of the Southwest the 
average annual frequency is recorded as zero, 
though there are only minor areas in which no 
damaging hailstorm was observed during the 
entire twelve years. There is no place in the 
United States at which the average interval 
between damaging hailstorms does not amount 
to several years. 

According to an estimate that has become 
rooted in statistical literature, though it is 
probably much too small, hail causes through- 
out the world losses averaging about $200,- 
000,000 a year. In the United States an esti- 
mate by V. N. Valgren, of the Department of 
Agriculture, based upon an 1 1 -year record, in- 
dicates that the losses on ten leading agricul- 
tural crops of this country — viz., wheat, corn, 



oats, barley, flaxseed, rice, potatoes, tobacco, 
hay and cotton — average $47,500,000 a year. 
In 19 1 5 the losses on these crops totaled $69,- 
000,000. The same authority estimates that 
hail damage to crops and property of all kinds 
in the United States amounts, on an average, 
to at least $75,000,000 a year. 

A $5,000,000 hailstorm 

In 1928 there were two hailstorms in the 
State of Kansas that injured crops to the ex- 
tent of $3,000,000 each, and on August 18, 
1925, a single hailstorm is supposed to have 
cost the farmers of Iowa about $5,000,000, be- 
sides doing damage to the extent of $500,000 
in the adjacent State of Illinois. No part of the 
country east of the Rockies is exempt from 
these disasters, and they occur occasionally 
even in the Far West. Fresno, California, had 
a $50,000 hailstorm on October 5, 1925. What 
ruin hail can accomplish in New England is 
illustrated by the million-dollar hailstorm in 
the tobacco-growing region of Connecticut on 
August 1, 1929. 

That hail can work huge havoc in a city as 
well as in the country was shown in the case of 
the famous Dallas, Tex., hailstorm of May 8. 
1926 — the most destructive that has occurred 
thus far in any of our cities. The total damage 
in and about Dallas was estimated at $2,000,- 
000, and the brunt of the destruction was ex- 
perienced in the business center of the town. 
Here the hailstones in many cases were three 
inches in diameter. Tons of ice fell on streets 
and buildings during a period of fifteen min- 
utes. Not only were thousands of windows and 
skylights broken, but roofs of all kinds were 
wrecked to such an extent that the Mayor is- 
sued a proclamation authorizing owners to 
make needed repairs without first getting the 
usual building permits. Street lights and elec- 
tric signs were shattered, and there was the 
usual riddling of greenhouses. The distinctly 
modern note of the disaster was the immense 
amount of damage done to automobiles, esti- 
mated at more than $100,000. 

How the ancient Greeks attempted to keep 
hailstorms from devastating their crops and 
vineyards is told in Seneca's "Quffistiones Na- 
turales." The town of Cleonae, in Argolis, he 
says, employed watchmen to give warning of 
the approach of hail clouds, which were recog- 
nized by their color. When the alarm was 
sounded people sacrificed a lamb or a pullet ; 



ICE FROM THE THUNDERCLOUDS 



whereupon, it was alleged, the threatening 
clouds changed their course. Those who had 
no animals to sacrifice scratched their fingers 
with a sharp stylus, and this was supposed to 
be equally efficacious — as it undoubtedly was! 

In the days of Charlemagne European peas- 
ants set up tall poles in their fields bearing at 
the top strips of parchment inscribed with in- 
cantations against hail. 

Various charms are still employed in rural 
Italy to avert hailstorms. Professer Giuseppe 
Bellucci tells us how, in Umbria, the peasants 
on Palm Sunday attach to the tops of trees 
adjacent to their fields consecrated olive 
branches or bits of charred wood from the 
Yule log. In some districts they spread ashes 
from the Yule log tree on the fields in the 
shape of a cross, or hang amulets and religious 
emblems of various kinds on the trees, or ring 
little silver bells — all to keep away hailstorms. 

Quaint machines to prevent hail 

In the early years of the present century 
much was heard about two contrivances widely 
employed in Europe, especially by vine- 
growers, for the purpose of preventing the de- 
structive effects of hail. One was the hail-rod ; 
known in France as the "electric Niagara." 
This was merely an extra large and lofty light- 
ning-rod. It was supposed to draw off elec- 
tricity from the storm clouds and thereby — 
though nobody ever explained why — to pre- 
vent hail from falling in its vicinity, or to 
render it soft and harmless when it fell. Many 
hail-rods were erected in France under govern- 
ment auspices, but they now appear to be com- 
pletely neglected and forgotten — as they de- 
serve to be. They were perfectly useless. 

The other equally futile device was the hail- 
cannon; a special form of mortar, which dis- 
charged a whirling ring of smoke and gas 
but no solid projectile. Thousands of these 
cannon were used in Austria, Italy, France 
and elsewhere. They are now nearly obsolete, 
but they have been replaced in many regions 
by the hail-rocket, which bursts high in the air 
and hence is alleged (especially by its man- 
ufacturers!) to concentrate its effects where 
they will do the most good. The truth is, how- 
ever, that the rocket bursts far below the level 
where hail is formed, and that, no matter 
where it burst, it could not conceivably affect 
the formation or the fall of hail. 



Still another delusive contrivance is the hail- 
kite, invented in Russia. This is really an as- 
semblage of box-kites, carrying sirens, which 
are operated electrically from the ground end 
of the kite wire. They emit a loud continuous 
note, and the resulting vibration of the air is 
supposed, in some miraculous way, to nip the 
hailstorm in the bud. 

A storm that changed a king's mind 

A hailstorm that played an important part 
in history occurred in April, 1360. The En- 
glish had long been at war with the French. 
Edward III, after an unsuccessful attempt to 
take Paris, had withdrawn his army toward 
Chartres. The French offered to negotiate 
peace, but the English king was stubborn. 
Then came the storm, which is thus described 
by Froissart: 

"During the time that the French commis- 
sioners were passing backwards and forwards 
from the king to his council and unable to ob- 
tain any favorable answer to their efforts, there 
happened such a storm and violent tempest of 
thunder and hail, which fell on the English 
army, that it seemed as if the world were come 
to an end. The hailstones were so large as to 
kill men and beasts, and the boldest were 
frightened. The king turned himself toward 
the church of Our Lady at Chartres, and re- 
ligiously vowed to the Virgin, as he has since 
confessed, that he would accept terms of 
peace." The result was the Treaty of Bretigny. 

The chronicles of the time place the English 
losses from this storm at 1,000 men and 6,000 
horses; probably an exaggeration. 

Another hailstorm that lives in history is the 
one that happened in Europe on July 13, 1788. 
Beginning in the center of France in the early 
morning, it passed northward in two parallel 
bands, about twelve miles apart, crossed Bel- 
gium, and finally died out in Holland in the 
afternoon. The western band was about ten 
miles wide and 420 miles long; the eastern, 
five miles wide and nearly 500 miles long. 
Profound darkness preceded the passage of the 
storm. The hail lasted only seven or eight 
minutes at any one place. 

No less than 1309 communes in France suf- 
fered from this visitation, and the total loss 
was nearly $5,000,000. It is said that the dis- 
tress occasioned by the storm hastened the 
outbreak of the French Revolution. 



NATURAL HISTORY, SEPTEMBER, 1 93 6 



Ice from the Thunderclouds 



May time in Omaha: when snow 
plows became "hail plows." Accom- 
panied by torrential rains, hail flooded 
whole sections of the Nebraska city, 
causing disastrous loss of property on 
May 18, 1936 




ICE FROM THE THUNDERCLOUDS 



113 




C. F. Talman, U. S. Weather Bureau, Washington, D. C. 

(Above) Greenhouse glass pays huge yearly (Below) Devastation in an orchard: the whole 
toll to hail: this Pittsburgh storm smashed top is battered off this Leesburg, Virginia 
tens of thousands of dollars in tuindow panes apple tree 




Photo from U. S. Department 
■f Agriculture 



114 



NATURAL HISTORY, SEPTEMBER, I936 




- 






■ 



,! *V.J 



- r ^^rj^ V:-' 



^^^^^^ Photo U. S. Geological Survey 

(Above) Shell holes of the frozen blast: im- today preserved where mud has become stone 
pressions of hailstones in soft mud. Similar (Below) Icy "boll weevil": hail-ruined cotton 
prints formed in bygone geological ages are plants stripped of their leaves 

C. F. Talman, V. S. Weather Bureau, Washington, D. C. 





Photo Lynn Acntt, Durban, South Afr 



(Above) Big as a tennis ball: ac- 
tual specimen of the hail that fell 
at Durban, South Africa, June 
24, 1929, compared to a standard 
tennis ball. Storm-damage esti- 
mated at £J50,000 



(Right) Hailstones laugh at 
shingles: a typical scene after the 
great Dallas, Texas hailstorm of 
May 8, 1926 

116 




C. F. Talman, U. S. Weather 
Bureau, Washington, D. C. 





Photo by H. Metcalfe 



(Above) Bullets from the sky: 
actual size photos of hailstones 
showing their onion-like layers, a 
formation produced as they are 
tossed through different air strata 
of varying temperature 




(Left) Riddled automobile roofs: 
mementos of the Dallas storm, 
probably the most destructive 
that has ever ravaged an Ameri- 
can town 



C. F. Talman, U. S. Weather Bur 
Washington, D. C. 



117 




C. F. Talman, U. S. Weather Bureau, Washington, D. C. 



(Insert) What hailstones 
did to a watermelon. (Back- 
ground) A futile attempt to 
"bomb-proof" a Connecticut 
tobacco field: loosely woven 
canvas ripped by the devas- 
tating pellets 




(Left) Savage versus hail: A south 
rican "rain doctor" fighting an ap- 
proaching hailstorm 



118 



Photo by C. F. Talman, U. S. Weathe 
Washington, D. C. 



NATURAL HISTORY, SEPTEMBER, 1 93 6 



(Right) When the "hail-shooting" 
mania was at its height. An exhibi- 
tion of the hail cannon at Padua, 
Italy 





Photo bv C. F. Talman, U. 
Bureau. Washington, D. C. 



(Left) Man' s futile retalia- 
tion: cannonading the clouds. A 
counter-barrage method of "pro- 
tection" formerly in high favor 
in the old world. (A painting 
by Jules Guerin) 



ICE FROM THE THUNDERCLOUDS 



Photo courtesy Everybody's Magazin 
119 




Flowers 
that "Go 
to Sleep" 



An Unusual Series of Pho- 
tographs by Frank S. Gehr 



People do not usually realize the extent to which 
common flowers close at night and open again with 
daylight. The upper picture shows two yellow tulips 
as they appeared in the middle of the day, whereas 
the one opposite it on the right-hand page shows the 
same flowers closed at night not many hours later 

Although temperature and moisture have some effect, 
sunlight is the most important factor in the strange 
movements which flowers undergo. The red oriental 
poppy, illustrated below, is one of the flowers that 
"go to sleep" when it is dark, as you can see from 
the photograph opposite taken at night 




NATURAL HISTORY, SEPTEMBER, 1 936 




(Above) A wild morning glory "awake" in the sun 
(Opposite) The same flowers "asleep" at night. A number 
morning glories only open for one day 



of 



(Below) A fringed gentian in daylight 

(Opposite) The same flower as it appears at night or on a dark 
day. The movements of plants can be stopped by anaesthetics like 
ethylene, the constituent of illuminating gas, of which only I part 
in 1,000,000 is necessary 




NATURAL HISTORY, SEPTEMBER, 1936 




The African daisy in the above photograph is open because the sun 
is shining on it; but when photographed at night by -flashlight the 
flower is seen to have closed completely 



(Below) White crocuses in sunlight 

(Opposite) At night the photographer finds them "sleeping." 
There are other flowers, however, which reverse the movements 
shown in this series, opening at night and remaining shut during 
the day 




124 



NATURAL HISTORY, SEPTEMBER, 1 93 6 








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Jose-1936 



Further adventures of a little animal whose only friend 
was man; the coati which won a place on the American Museum's 
expedition at Barro Colorado 



By Frank M. Chapman 



Curator of Birds, An 
Museum of Natural History 

[The Story So Far: In December, 1934, this racoon- 
like little animal met and won the friendship of 
Dr. Frank M. Chapman on Barro Colorado Island, 
in the Canal Zone. Doctor Chapman created much 
interest in Jose among readers of Natural History 
when he recorded his subsequent relations with 
this wise and appealing creature in the April, 1935, 
issue of the magazine. He showed Jose to possess 
extraordinary intelligence, expressed chiefly through 
his remarkable sense of smell. 

Like other animals of his kind he lived alone un- 
til, prompted by the developments of the annual 
mating season, he went to the forest to fight for a 
mate. After an absence of about two weeks he re- 
turned from his adventures minus an eye and an 
upper lip and with various other wounds. Fed by 
members of the Barro Colorado staff he survived 
the summer and returned to Doctor Chapman's care 
the following November. 

In the present article Doctor Chapman continues 
the story of Jose's life until they again separated 
in April, 1936.] 

After my departure from Barro Colo- 
rado in April, 1935, Jose was adopted 
by the laboratory family. Possibly it 
would be more accurate to say that the fam- 
ily was adopted by Jose. At any rate, seven 
months later I found him occupying much the 
same position as a household cat, notoriously 
a spoiled creature of independent ways. 



Bananas, please! 

He had established his headquarters at the 
entrances to the laboratory and kitchen, dig- 
ging a slight hollow in the earth beneath the 
water tank in which at times, he rested. From 
this retreat, when hunger prompted, he issued 
to hold up whoever chanced to pass for food, 



meaning always bananas. His request was 
wordless but made with unmistakable motions 
as, on his hind legs, he came confidently for- 
ward. If no fruit was forthcoming he re- 
tired ; if it was held beyond his reach, he 
did not hesitate to climb for it and the marks 
of his claws on one's legs bore evidence to their 
sharpness and the strength of their owner's 
grip. This experiment was not repeated. 

Weight no handicap 

Jose had not been able to replace his in- 
jured eye, but his upper lip was in large mea- 
sure restored, leaving a scar visible only to 
those who looked for it. Of his numerous 
bodily wounds there was no outward evidence 
while his general physical condition bespoke 
leisure, repose, and abundant food. Jose's fig- 
ure had indeed lost the slenderness of the 
wild individuals of his kind. He was, unques- 
tionably fat and showed a marked disposition 
to sit or lie down when not in motion. I ended 
this degrading life of luxury by restoring the 
feeding-tray on the trolley from my balcony 
to the forest as Jose's source of food. It was 
believed by those responsible for Jose's in- 
crease in weight and apparent immobility that 
his avoirdupois would prevent him from per- 
forming the acrobatics which had so distin- 
guished him the preceding spring. They were 
mistaken. 

Finding that his demands for food were no 
longer honored Jose soon accepted my invita- 
tion to return to the scene of our first meet- 
ing. There he found no bananas offered him 
from indulgent hands but only the scent of 
bananas proceeding from places beyond his im- 
mediate reach. Seven months had passed since 



126 



NATURAL HISTORY, SEPTEMBER, 1 93 6 



he had been confronted by this situation. 
Would memory assist him in meeting it or 
would he employ orginal initiative? 

The odor of a peeled banana on my balcony 
rail evidently attracted his attention and, nose 
up, he "tried the air" in familiar fashion. At 
once he came to the balcony floor, leaving it 
and returning several times before he located 
the food on the rail. This was distinctly be- 
low his average performance of the preceding 
spring. And twice he visited the rail before 
he discovered a second banana on the crossbar 
of the three-foot upright to which the feed- 
ing-tray trolley wires are attached. This he 
climbed with some little effort, remaining on 
it to eat his reward. 

He seemed to be aware of still further 
food in the feeding-tray about eighteen feet 
distant and started to walk the trolley wires 
toward it but after one step returned to the 
cross-piece and descended to the ground. 
Thirty minutes later he returned without hesi- 
tation for a fresh piece of banana on the cross- 
piece but made no attempt to go to the tray. 
In another half hour he again came to the 
cross-piece for the always acceptable banana. 
As before, he started on the wires for the 
tray but after a foot gave it up and retreated 
to the ground. But there was still banana in 
the air, and with characteristic coati persis- 
tence Jose soon returned to the cross-piece and 
finding no more banana there turned his whole 
attention toward the tray, where a lone banana 
remained. For the first time he now encoun- 
tered the cord by which the tray was pulled 
to and fro. It was of the same kind as that 
used in various banana experiments with him 
the preceding spring and its touch seemed at 
once to arouse memories of bananas which had 
then always been attached to it. At once he 
pulled it vigorously and, when this brought no 
result, as before he bit it until I interfered. 

This ended the tests for the day. They 
showed plainly that Jose was far from losing 
either his mobility or initiative and that when 
the right cord was touched his memory was 
responsive. 

Walking the wire 

The following morning, November 30, at 
10:50, Jose returned, climbed up the steps of 
the balcony where I was sitting, and came to 
me obviously for food. I referred him to the 
crossbar and tray where bananas awaited him. 



But for reasons, if any, known only to himself, 
he descended the two steps to the ground and 
went directly to the woods thirty feet away. 
Passing the tree to which the far end of the 
trolley wires are attached, and which was still 
encircled by the impassable '/.inc "rat-guard," 
he started to climb the following tree but after 
ascending several feet slipped back to the 
ground. "Ha ha," I said, "it's too much for 
you," but without pause he continued to the 
succeeding tree. Evidently it had required 
only two or three steps to show him that this 
second tree was not the right one. But on the 
third tree he obviously felt at home and con- 
fidently climbing to the point where it met 
the "trolley tree" he crossed over, descended 
that tree to the wire and without a moment's 
pause walked out on one wire, resting his tail 
on the other, to the tray ten feet away. He 
acted as though wholly accustomed to the 
maneuver, ate his banana while resting easily on 
the tray, and then at once retraced his route to 
the ground. On this, his first trial, therefore, 
with only the slight, quickly corrected slip of 
starting up the wrong tree, he remembered his 
indirect route to the tray and followed it with- 
out difficulty. He did not, however, seem to 
climb as easily as in the preceding spring and, 
when ascending, stopped three times to rest a 
few seconds while panting rapidly. But within 
a few days he was an agile as ever. Why he 
should have balked at the wires the first day 
and treated them so familiarly the next I am 
unable to say. Possibly because at the forest end 
of the route to the tray they formed a regular 
part of an unbroken succession of events, while 
the balcony route was broken by various inci- 
dental experiences. 

Jose's rivals 

These two days served completely to re- 
store the relations with Jose which had been 
broken by my seven months' absence. Mean- 
while his existence had become somewhat com- 
plicated by the appearance of several rivals 
for our favor. These animals, known as Mig- 
uel, Julio, and Antonio, observing the ease 
with which Jose supplemented the food sup- 
plied by the forest, had not hesitated to ad- 
vance their own claims for bananas and each 
found one or more patrons among the workers 
on the island. But although these later comers 
were still fed at the entrances to kitchen and 
laboratory they did not hesitate to poach on 



JOSE 1936 



127 



Jose's preserves at my balcony. When he was 
present they did not venture to trespass, for 
they apparently recognized his seniority, and, 
in a swinging gallop, always retreated before 
him. But Jose sometimes had affairs of his 
own to attend to and when absent these tres- 
passers soon also learned to reach the various 
places in which I offered bananas to possible 
bird visitors. 

Within an hour after the feeding-tray had 
been cleared of the enveloping luxuriant vege- 
tation of the wet season and supplied with a 
banana, it was visited by doubtless the same 
tanagers that had frequented it the preceding 
spring. They were soon joined by two blue 
tanagers and an adult female and young male 
of our summer tanager, wintering here. At 
times all three species were present together, 
an apparent recognition of family relationships 
or, at least, an exhibition of similar tastes, 
which resulted in a singularly beautiful pic- 
ture. But if I expected to continue to receive 
these birds as guests I must find some way of 
protecting their dining-table from an intruder 
who would not hesitate to make them part of 
his meal. I therefore returned to the problem 
of making a coati-proof dining-table for birds. 
If a tray on two trolley wires could be reached 
so easily, possibly a tray on a single wire 
would be beyond a coati's powers. Two wires 
supplied one for the feet and one for the tail, 
making a stable means of locomotion. But 
with the tail support removed, Mr. Coati 
would find himself strictly without visible 
means of balance. Moreover, recalling some- 
thing about the super-skill required to walk a 
"slack rope," I resolved that as a final deter- 
rent my wire should be of the slackest. So I 
dropped it nearly four feet in sixteen, or to an 
angle of about twenty-three degrees, confident 
that the food-tray was now for flying crea- 
tures only, birds by day and bats by night. 

With the greatest of ease 

But Jose mastered the new contrivance at 
the first attempt. It is true his little journey 
was ended so hastily that the tray turned over 
with him. But he lost neither his head nor his 
footing while the banana was grabbed as it 
swung above him and devoured before he re- 
sumed his journey upside down and returned 
to the tree somewhat winded but experienced. 
After lunch the journey was repeated with 



everything under control and it was evident 
that while I had added to Jose's skill I had in 
no way reduced his sources of food. There- 
after, I tried to keep the tray so well supplied 
that there would be enough bananas for both 
birds and coatis. But I did not confess myself 
defeated. I still thought that there must be 
places open to winged creatures and closed to 
quadrupeds and I looked to the trees. 

Tying a banana at each end of a three or 
four foot string I tossed them to the outer 
branches of the trees over my balcony. Some 
barely caught and hung dripping from the 
terminal twigs as though they had grown 
there. Even the tanagers could reach them 
only while on the wing. And the coatis? I 
must confess that they made me feel as though 
I were lacking in both experience and imagina- 
tion. For them I had merely substituted a 
banana for an almendro nut. They climbed 
down the branch as far as possible and if they 
could reach the string pulled it in with the 
banana at its end. Just, indeed, as they had 
pulled in the bananas attached by strings to 
the feeding-tray. If they could not reach the 
string they broke off the limb to which, di- 
rectly or indirectly, it was tied and pulled that 
in. One pair of bananas landed at the extrem- 
ity of a far-reaching balsa limb twenty feet 
above the ground and twice that distance from 
the trunk of the tree ; but they were uner- 
ringly located and collected. Not one banana 
escaped. 

Making it more difficult 

I deferred making the final experiment that 
occurred to me. Not because I believed that it, 
too, would fail, but because of its general in- 
appropriateness. Taking a leaky zinc wash-tub 
I nailed it upside down on a stout pole about 
eight feet long, of which two were firmly set 
in the ground. Bananas were placed on its up- 
turned bottom and there, at least, coatis tried 
in vain to get them. One after another the 
younger animals climbed the pole to the heart 
of the tub and dropped back to earth. But they 
were far from discouraged, and repeated paw- 
ings at the rim of the tub finally so weakened 
its fastening to the pole that it swung to and 
fro and a more than usually agile coati suc- 
ceeded in getting his claw over the rim and, 
in some inexplicable way, hoisted himself up 
on to the bottom. In the end, therefore, not 
even the tub was immune and at this point I 



128 



NATURAL HISTORY, SEPTEMBER, 1 936 



abandoned furtber attempts. The coatis won. 
The birds must take their chances. I would 
supply the bananas. 

Meanwhile, I found that coatis were not 
restricted to a fare of bananas. With the 
ripening of the almendro nuts late in January 
they ascended the trees that bear them and no 
nut was too remote to escape picking. Only the 
thin rather acrid outer covering was eaten, 
then the nut was dropped for the peccaries, 
pacas, agoutis, and squirrels. This is a favorite 
food but even at the height of the almendro 
season coatis varied their fare. I was seated on 
my balcony one afternoon early in February 
when an unrecognized coati started sniffing 
about on the hillside near me. In a moment 
he was evidently assured that he had found 
what he wanted and began to dig. It was not 
a casual digging. It was a frenzy of digging. 
The earth, which had been in position only 
ten years, was comparatively loose and with 
stones nearly five inches in diameter it rose in 
a continuous eruptive shower that rumbled 
down the hill. Within five minutes the animal 
was lost to view in his own excavation. At 
the end of that time he withdrew his prize — a 
tarantula which, barring two claws, was de- 
voured on the spot. The hole was thirty-two 
inches deep and fourteen inches wide at the 
entrance. 

Fond of eggs 

There is a general, and I think, warranted 
belief that coatis are destructive to birds, their 
nests and contents, but beyond their capture 
of a paroquet at the laboratory I know of no 
instance of their bird-eating. As a means of 
gaining more information we therefore placed 
two hens' eggs where they would be seen by 
wild coatis. Their action was prompt and defi- 
nite. One egg was soon carried unbroken to a 
distance of a hundred feet before eating, the 
other was devoured on the spot. The top was 
neatly removed from each egg and the exposed 
contents then lapped up as though from an 
egg cup. One could imagine that such skill 
could be acquired only by experience, perhaps 
with tinamous' eggs. 

To vary this test I hid two eggs at different 
spots in the grass on the hillside near my 
balcony. One egg was not handled and was 
placed with the aid of a tablespoon attached 
to a long pole. It was never visited. The other 
was hidden by hand and visited frequently. 



Neither egg was taken and the experiment is 
mentioned only to suggest that it be repented. 

That an animal so fond of bananas should 
also have a pronounced if not indeed passion- 
ate liking for tarantulas helps prepare u*> lor 
the statement that coatis are also fond of 
bats! 

When at night I explored the forest from 
my balcony with a powerful searchlight, its 
rays were often thronged by bats of several 
species. Some were fruit-eaters and in a steady 
line came for a bite of the banana in my food- 
tray. Others appeared to be insect-eaters, dart- 
ing erratically here and there. To capture 
specimens for identification, like a great spider 
I spun my web, in the form of an Italian bird 
net, thirty feet long and six feet wide, between 
me and the forest. The bats caught were pre- 
sumably fruit-eaters, which apparently lack 
the sensitiveness that aids insect-eating bats to 
avoid objects when in flight. But if they be- 
came entangled in a part of the net within 
reach of tree or hillside only the wings were 
left for me while a coati appropriated the still 
living body. I therefore abandoned this form 
of collecting and restricted further experi- 
ments on the food of coatis to cake and candy, 
both of which they refused. Of bananas, how- 
ever, they never tired and even the ripest 
specimen was acceptable. 

While Jose seemed in perfect physical con- 
dition it is clear that at the end of January, 
1936, as the annual mating season approached, 
he was not as well prepared for its tests as he 
had been the year before. He was much over- 
weight, a diet of bananas was doubtless not as 
strengthening as one more varied and more 
difficult of acquisition, and he was minus the 
eye lost in last year's mating contests. Conse- 
quently, if there is any truth in the theory 
that an animal physically below par is seriously 
handicapped in the struggle for existence, Jose 
entered the lists of the 1936 mating season 
under a marked disadvantage. 

Jose's marital expedition 

The result supported the theory. The date 
of his return from his marital expedition dem- 
onstrated the regularity of his physiological 
cycle. It will be recalled that in 1935, after 
an absence of two weeks, he returned to the 
laboratory on February 11. In 1936, after a 
somewhat briefer absence, he returned on Feb- 



JOSE — 1936 



129 



ruary 10. In 1935 he was minus an eye and 
an upper lip and plus countless body wounds, 
some of major importance. In 1936 he had 
lost the use of a foot, the remaining eye was 
badly injured, a former shoulder wound was 
reopened to a length of about four inches and 
width of over one, and there was literally not 
two square inches of his body that did not 
show the mark of claw or tooth. Jose was, in- 
deed, such a pitiable looking object that the 
men urged me to end his suffering. The injury 
to his foot was the most serious. It robbed him 
not only of an organ of locomotion and means 
of securing food, but of a weapon. The foot was 
swollen, its claws bent backward, and the care 
with which it was held from the ground indi- 
cated that it was painful. Above all, Jose's 
spirit seemed broken. He had lost his dis- 
tinguishing confident attitude toward life, and 
after eating three bananas hobbled back to the 
woods, his lowered tail, like a flag at half- 
mast, dragging behind him. 

His spirit broken 

The preceding year, after returning from his 
campaign of conquest, Jose had to contend only 
with his wounds. We supplied him with food 
and in the vicinity of the laboratory he found 
safety from his enemies. Meanwhile other coatis 
of his sex have made friends with us if they 
have not with him. If earlier in the year they 
interfered with what he evidently considered 
his prior rights, he exhibited his authority in a 
manner not designed to promote his popular- 
ity. Now it was their turn and they knew it; 
so did he. When in the morning he returned 
for his daily bananas he moved cautiously, ad- 
vancing only after careful inspection of the 
surrounding territory. Even when eating he 
was constantly on the alert and would sud- 
denly stiffen to attention if he fancied he de- 
tected the presence of an enemy. This act al- 
ways impressed me as an exhibition of intelli- 
gent discrimination. Did he or did he not hear 
or smell one of his own kind?, it seemed to 
say. If he concluded that he did not, he re- 
sumed eating, but if he became convinced that 
an enemy was nearby, the half-eaten banana 
was dropped abruptly. There was no question- 
ing growl, no "trying of the air" with that 
sinuous nose, no querulous twisting of the 
snake-like tail ; without a word or a moment's 
pause, tail dragging, he loped away in com- 
plete and shameless confession of his impotence. 



But notwithstanding his evident desire to 
avoid further conflict, at least until he was 
better prepared to defend himself, it was ap- 
parent that he did not always escape. Often 
he showed new and more or less serious wounds 
and it was a question whether in spite of our 
care he would survive the attack of his foes. 
They showed him no mercy and about the 
laboratory, at least, appeared to be almost con- 
stantly on his heels. He could find no place 
where he was secure. March 3, for example, 
after eating four bananas on my doorstep he 
entered and crossed my room as though he 
were considering it for a retreat. But some- 
thing, perhaps the confinement of four walls, 
evidently worried him. I stood one side to let 
him choose his own resting-place but he seemed 
in constant fear of an assault from the rear 
and returned to the door. Crossing the bal- 
cony to descend the steps he stopped suddenly 
head down, body trembling, as though about 
to collapse. Twenty feet away a coati was 
coming slowly toward him. Jose made no at- 
tempt to escape. He seemed to be ready to 
surrender. The approaching animal was one 
of the younger ones that he had dominated 
earlier in the season. Jose, I felt, would be 
helpless in his claws, so I drove him back to 
the forest and tried to induce Jose to return 
to my room. But this was a form of retreat he 
did not understand. So he pulled himself to- 
gether, went down the steps and slowly 
climbed the hill away from his enemy. 

A fierce encounter 

Three days later an animal that I recog- 
nized as Miguel, after I had driven him off 
several times, charged Jose while I was feed- 
ing him at the laboratory door. The attack was 
made from the rear with a sudden, deadly 
ferocity and Jose responded with a power and 
drive that we had not supposed remained in 
his torn body. Miguel, evidently as much sur- 
prised as we were, quickly gave way and we 
completed his rout. Then to illustrate that 
such little incidents are all part of a coati's . 
daily life, Jose, with complete composure, re- 
turned to the banana he was eating from my 
hand. I showed far more excitement than he 
did. 

Meanwhile Jose was making a marvelous 
recovery from his countless wounds. What is 
it, one asks, that keeps his scratches, cuts and 



130 



NATURAL HISTORY, SEPTEMBER, 1 936 



gashes free from infection? Certainly the 
tongue, with which alone they are washed, 
bears no visible healing ointment but carries 
the essence of one wound to another, and all 
alike are without traces of pus or inflammation. 
How places beyond the reach of his tongue 
were treated I do not know.* His foot alone 
seemed inflamed and sore but here there had 
been an apparent tearing of ligaments which 
called for replacement of claws, and possibly 
bones, before healing, and while progress was 
made it was slow. It was not until March 1 1 
that I saw him attempt to use his injured foot, 
other than to walk on it. Then he dropped a 
banana half-eaten and sniffing along the hill- 
side made a half-hearted attempt to unearth a 
tarantula. The act seemed to say "I'm tired 
of bananas; give me some real coati food." 

During this period of daily visits Jose and 
I established closer relations than had pre- 
viously existed between us. Hitherto I had 
been merely a source of bananas of which my 
hand was the container. Now he acted as 
though there was something in our relations 
besides bananas. He recognized my voice and 
responded to his name, coming to me, when 
hungry, from distances up to a hundred feet. 
He acted as though at home in my study 
where, his hunger appeased, he spent hours, 
chin on paws, comfortably sleeping in evident 
belief that he was safe there. Thus he clearly 
looked to me for protection as well as for food. 

Jose's trust 

When feeding he no longer grabbed the 
banana from my hand and made off with it 
but gently put his paws on mine and with ap- 
parent care to avoid injuring me with either 
claws or teeth, ate slowly. In short, within 
limitations, Jose and I had acquired confidence 
in one another. Knowing that since he had 
left his mother's side he had never been 
touched except with intent to kill, I made no 
attempt to caress Jose, nor did I expect any- 
thing like a purr or friendly tail-wag from 



*Since the above was written I have discovered the fol- 
lowing in Science lor June 26, 1936: 

"Licking their wounds, a practice universal among ani- 
mals, has good bacteriological justification, is reported by 
Dr. Herman Dold, professor of hygiene at the University 
of Tubingen. Cultures of bacteria to which saliva was 
added failed to thrive, while untreated 'control' cultures 
grew flourishing colonies of the germs. It therefore appears 
likely that in addition to keeping dirt and hair out of their 
wounds by the constant licking, the afflicted animals are 
also applying an effective antiseptic." 



him. To be known when we met awaj from 

the laboratory was the extreme form oi 
nition I expected. 

On the morning of March 2') 1 met him 
near the lake digging with one fcw.it for taran- 
tulas. He stopped work as I approached and 
came toward me with an expression which 1 
interpreted as saying: "You haven't a banana 
about you, have you?" But before 1 could ex- 
plain that I had not expected to meet him, 
etc., he smelled his own reply and returned to 
his digging. 

Two days later, knowing I would pass this 
way, I placed a small banana in my sack on 
the chance of meeting Jose again. Sure enough, 
there he was hopping down the hill toward 
me, the injured foot held high. This time his 
expression read "What about that banana?" 
and I replied "Well, what about it, Jose?" 
He sat there on his haunches waiting for me 
to make the next move, but as I remained 
motionless, he came forward, went direct to 
the bag at my side, extracted the banana and 
ate it at my feet. He did not ask for another, 
for he knew as well as I that there were no 
more. Then he went into the forest but soon 
returned to hunt grasshoppers about me as 
though he sensed a safety zone in my vicinity. 

His only friend — man 

As the time for my departure at the end of 
April approached, Jose was returned to his 
friends at the kitchen door. New fur was 
sprouting from the bare patches on his body, 
but he could not hope for a new eye, and I 
doubt if ever again his foot will serve him 
as an effective weapon. With our bananas and 
his discretion he may survive until another 
mating season brings with it the desire for a 
mate and forces him to re-enter the lists. Then 
the loss of a foot, as well as an eye, will prove 
too great a handicap and Jose will meet the 
end of the male of his species. But he will have 
added to our knowledge of a coati's life. His 
sisters, in due time, doubtless had families of 
their own, but since reaching maturity Jose's 
only contacts with his kind have been to fight 
and to mate. Aside from these brief periodic 
exhibitions of animalism he is alone in his 
world. In sickness and in hunger he is de- 
pendent solely on himself. Other forms of life 
may serve him as food ; with man alone can 
he hope to make friends. 



JOSE — 1936 



131 




Jose 



(Above) A portrait of the coati whose 
intelligent actions have for two seasons 
entertained the Museum's expedition at 
Barro Colorado near Panama: a battle- 
scarred veteran of the mating season, 
with only one good eye, a defective upper 
lip and a split left ear 



(Right) Breakfast at the author's knee: 
an expression of mutual confidence 



(Left) After seven months 
of easy living Jose was 
quick to resume his train- 
ing in aerial acrobatics . 
Here he is shown 'tight- 
rope' walking to the tray 
which contains his favorite 
food, bananas 



132 



NATURAL HISTORY, SEPTEMBER, I 93 6 



1936 




(Above) Jose is shown circumventing 
the tree guard which coatis could not 

pass. Jose avoided it by coming from 
above, and walked the single wire to tin 
food tray, a distance of 1 5 feet 



(Left) Pulling a banana dozen which is 
attached to a string thrown over a single 
icire 



In the picture at the right 
the single wire to which 
the banana was tied did 
not reach the ground, so 
Jose climbed out and 
pulled it up as shown 



JOSE 1936 



133 




Jose's intelligence was displayed largely 
through his keen sense of smell. If the 
suspended box shown above contained a 
banana he would pull it up, but if it 
held only a stone he made no attempt to 
obtain it 



Complete confidence in man — his only 
friend: Jose eating a standing meal at the 
author's doorway. His left shoulder and 
forefoot show some of the wounds sus- 
tained on his second mating expedition 
which seriously threaten his chances in 
the struggle for survival 



134 



NATURAL HISTORY, SEPTEMBER, 1 93 6 



The Desert Fish of Death Valley 

It seemed impossible that fish could exist in a spring in 
Death Valley, far from the nearest water, but there they were, 
survivors of the Ice Age 



By William V. Ward 

Could anyone believe that there are fish 
in California's Death Valley? Hardly; 
at least no one would entertain for a 
moment any such thought who had gone, as a 
tourist, through that sun-scorched furnace- 
heated region where streams are unknown and 
where the only pools are those of bitter waters. 
Thus, when I read from a newspaper a 
colossal story of a certain spring in Death 
Valley wherein live and abound a thriving 
species of fish, I thought that perhaps the re- 
porter had had a slight touch of the sun. 
However, the article was written in so rea- 
sonable and coherent a style that it gave a 
suggestion of truth and most certainly pro- 
voked curiosity. The newspaper story really 
was not unduly exaggerated ; it merely gave 
the surprising information that at Saratoga 
Springs in the southernmost portion of Death 
Valley, about twenty miles from the lowest 
point on the North American continent*, 
there were to be found living in the salt water 
of that spring, a certain species of small fish. 
And that was the fact which interested me, 
and caused me to wonder. 

To bring 'em back alive 

Being somewhat of a scientific turn of mind, 
I decided to go at my earliest convenience to 
Death Valley to investigate these unusual fish 
and to try to photograph and collect specimens 
of them. Then, too, perhaps I had in mind 
exposing as a nature-fakir the writer of that 
newspaper yarn. So, when time permitted, the 
trip was undertaken. Food was prepared for 

* 276 feet below sea level. 



a desert camping trip: water jars were filled, 
fish nets were made, thermos jugs were pro- 
cured in which to place a few fish in an effort 
to bring back specimens alive, if any were 
found ; cameras were loaded, and a small spe- 
cial aquarium was taken along in order to 
obtain photographs of the fish in the field in 
case it should be impossible to bring them out 
of the valley alive. Thus equipped, a fishing 
expedition to Death Valley was under way. 

Into the desert 

The springs described were found quite 
easily after a preliminary study of various 
maps and then, after arriving in Death Val- 
ley, by watching for the desert water-hole 
signposts which have been erected there by 
the United States Geological Survey. The 
roads leading to the springs where the fish 
were said to exist are clearly marked, for the 
springs are among the largest in the whole 
Mojave Desert, and they long have been 
noted as a camping place for desert travelers. 
Even the Indians had been there, as picture 
writings on the face of a rock wall a few hun- 
dred feet to the southeast testified. ■ 

Late in the afternoon, after a long, hot 
journey across the desert, the car came to a 
jolting stop beside a circle of reeds, surrounded 
by salt grass, which marked the location of 
a water-hole. Stiff-legged from driving, I 
climbed out, pressed my way through the reeds, 
and looked into the pool. 

Wonder of wonders, if the newspaper story 
wasn't right ! There were the fish ! A thousand 
of them, playing and fighting in the depths of 
the pool. Slanting rays of light from the after- 
noon sun reflected themselves from the irides- 



THE DESERT FISH OF DEATH VALLEY 



135 



cent blue sides of the males as the fish darted 
in and out among the reeds and sunbeams. 

The pool was oval in shape, about twenty 
by thirty feet, and from two to five feet in 
depth. The bottom was covered with decayed 
vegetation except in several round, sandy spots 
ranging from one to three feet in diameter 
through which the water bubbled from its 
underground source. As each new jet of water 
came in, the sand would shift, rise up in a 
little whirling pillar and then fall away; and 
ever among these swirling pillars of sand the 
fish were darting in and out, evidently merely 
to enjoy the tickling sensation of the sand. 

An investigating glance around the springs 
showed that the one I was standing near was 
the central pool from which the water flowed 
through several small ditches, heavily choked 
with vegetation, to two other pools each of 
which was an acre or so in extent. These larger 



pools were quite shallow and around their 
edges waded a few killdeer and a Wilson 
phalarope, while on the surface swam green- 
winged teal and western grebes. Red-winged 
blackbirds were at home in the reeds. The 
larger, shallow pools, together with the sur- 
rounding marshes and tangled ditches which 
connected the several pools, formed a breed- 
ing ground for the fish, the small ones of 
which could be seen swimming in schools close 
to the surface. Here in the shallow water and 
among the matted vegetation and algae, the 
young fish were able to hatch and to grow un- 
molested, until they were big enough to return 
to the central pool and cope with their vicious 
cannibalistic parents. 

Looking up from the pools and marshes for 
a quick glance at the topography, one's eyes 
met the barren, rocky slopes of a spur of the 
Ibex Mountains, which border the eastern side 




How the Fish Got into Death Valley 



This map shows a vanished lake system 
which probably existed in Southeastern 
California in the glacial epoch. At that 
time Death Valley was presumably the 
overflow basin into which drained the 
waters from the surrounding glaciers and 
mountains. The fish are believed to have 
entered Death Valley by these waters and 
have survived there in the restricted salt 
waters of Saratoga Springs, completely 



cut off from all other waters of the world 
and only twenty miles from the lowest and 
hottest place in the United States 
The shaded areas were occupied by lakes 
of the Pleistocene epoch; and the darker 
shaded areas represent playas, or plains in- 
termittently covered with shallow water. 
Searles Lake is not a lake in the ordinary 
sense but occupies a salt-incrusted surface 
and varies in size 



(After Hoyt S. Gale, Bulletin of the United States Geological Survey No. 580) 
136 NATURAL HISTORY, SEPTEMBER, 1 936 



of the Valley; while to the northward, across 
the dry bed of the Amargosa, one saw through 
a haze the snow-capped crest of Telescope 
Peak as it rose eleven thousand feet above 
the heat waves which shimmered over Death 
Valley. Indeed, it was a strange and pictur- 
esque setting in which to find fish ; so much 
so, in fact, that it caused me to cease explora- 
tion for the moment to determine why the 
fish were there. 

It was clear that they could not have come 
to these springs from any other pools in the 
region. The nearest other water was miles 
away ; and an examination of the U. S. Geo- 
logical Survey water-supply maps for the 
Mojave Desert showed that it would be an 
impossibility for the fish to travel between 
pools even in times of heavy rains and floods. 
Therefore, it seemed most reasonable to pre- 
sume, as do Stanford University icthyologists 
who are studying the desert fish, that the little 
minnows are descendants of those which once 



inhabited the area at a much earlier geologi- 
cal period when the desert had a moist and 
humid climate, and when the present arid 
basins were lakes and the dry water courses 
full flowing rivers. Such a time was probably 
in the Pleistocene when Lake Bonneville and 
Lake Lahontan covered with fresh water much 
of the territory in the southwestern United 
States; and when the Mojave, Amargosa and 
Owens Rivers connected the present springs, 
dry lakes and washes in an integrated river 
system which drained the melting glaciers then 
on the neraby mountain ranges.* This drainage 
system is depicted in the accompanying map 
and diagram. 

These fishes of Saratoga Springs belong to 
the hardy family of Poecillidae (killifishes 
or Cyprinodonts) and are known to science 
as Cyprinodon macularius. They are known 
commonly as "Death Valley Fish," "Desert 
Minnow," and "Spotted Pursy Minnow"; 
and variations of the type specimen are found 



* "Waters that formerly filled Owens Valley until 
they overflowed, flooding successively lower and 
lower basins, formed for a time a chain of large 
lakes in what is now the desert region of south- 
eastern California. These flood waters passed from 
Owens Valley, the principal source of the water 
supply, through Indian Wells, Searles, and Pana- 
mint valleys, in each of which there was an exten- 
sive lake. Finally the waters are believed to have 
overflowed also into Death Valley, and there the 
physiographic record has not yet been completely 
deciphered. . . . 

"Panamint Lake narrowed to a point at its south 
end, and this was not only the point of inlet for the 
overflow from the Searles Basin but it appears that 
the inlet was also near the position of its probable 
outlet or overflow during the period of its maximum 
flooding. The greatest depth of Panamint Lake was 
probably determined by Wingate Pass, through 
which an overflow is believed to have passed for 



some time into Death Valley. . . . 

"The final bit of evidence concerning the maxi- 
mum water level of the Panamint Lake was found 
in the contouring and elevations in Wingate Pass, 
which leads from the Panamint Valley into Death 
Valley. These data were obtained in recent surveys 
for maps now in preparation. . . . 

"The correlation of the Quaternary lakes of 
Owens Valley and similar areas in the Great Basin 
with the stages of ice extension in the glacial epoch 
rests upon general considerations, although it is 
accepted by most geologists. . . . 

"It is stated that the greatest expansion of the 
waters of the Mono Basin occurred subsequent to 
the last extension of the Sierra Nevada glaciers. It 
is reasonable to assume that the other lakes of the 
Great Basin attained their maxima at the same 
time." (Hoyt S. Gale, in United States Geological 
Survey, Bulletin 5S0, "Salines in Southeast Cali- 
fornia," pp. 251-323.) 



4000' — _^0\\<HNS VALLEY 

3000' 3 5 75' 



■£- 






<y <g b '\> 

INDIAN WELLS SEAKLES 



VALLE \, a^ifl Ugf 4 ' PANAMINT VALLEY ^ 



^ 



Sea. level 



DEATH VALLEY 
^280'- . 



Death Valley at Foot of Former Lake System 



The isolated fish which live in Saratoga climate connected the basins shown here 
Springs in Death Valley are believed to in profile into one system 
have come at a time when a more humid 

(After Hoyt S. Gale, Bulletin of the United States Geological Survey No. 580) 

THE DESERT FISH OF DEATH VALLEY 1 37 



in desert water-holes throughout the South- 
west. "Death Valley Fish" seems to be quite 
appropriate for the specimens at Saratoga, for 
no other fish are found in Death Valley. They 
attain a maximum length of from two to two 
and one-quarter inches. The males have 
slightly barred sides which become a brilliant 
iridescent blue when the light strikes them at 
the correct angle; but at other times they ap- 
pear to be plain gray, with sometimes a red- 
dish-brown tinge when one is looking down 
at them in the pool. The females lack most 
of the iridescent blue and are a little paler than 
their mates, while they have vertical bars on 
their sides which are much more prominent 
than those of the males. The fish are omnivor- 
ous, eating both vegetable and animal foods. 
This is apparent to the observer who watches 
a group of them carefully eating the algae off 
some plants at the bottom of the pool, and 
then sees them make a lightning dash to the 
top of the pool to make short work of an un- 
fortunate moth which chances to be blown 
into the water. 

How to catch them 

It was necessary to catch several fish for 
photographic purposes as well as to obtain a 
few to attempt to bring home for aquarium 
specimens. The rapidity of movement of the 
fishes in the water made it almost an impossi- 
bility to even try to scoop them up in the nets 
brought for the purpose. However, the easiest 
way to catch them soon was discovered. An 
insect would be placed on the surface of the 
water, and its struggles quickly would attract 
a number of fishes. While they were busy at- 
tacking the insect, the net would be slipped 
quietly beneath them and they would be cap- 
tured. Then they were transferred to a wait- 
ing thermos jug to be carried home, or else 
placed in a small aquarium, the front and 
back walls of which were close together so 
that they would be confined in a narrow plane 
while their photographs were made. It was 
but a matter of a few more minutes to catch 
from eighteen to twenty fish of both sexes and 
of various sizes and to place them in thermos 
jugs for the trip home. Five or six more were 
caught for the purpose of making their pic- 
tures. The small glass aquarium was made 
ready and the fish placed in. Afraid at first, 
they made fairly good camera subjects as soon 
as they had thoroughly investigated their 



new surroundings and had settled down a bit. 

In sweeping the nets about the pool, it was 
found that fish were not its only denizens. A 
brown leech, of about four inches in length, 
was rather common, as was the yellow-bor- 
dered water beetle, Dytiscus. The water beetle, 
apparently, was the only enemy of the fish 
aside from the frogs. It was seen swimming 
constantly along the edges of the pool search- 
ing for young fish which it kills by clasping 
them with its strong fore-arms, while its pro- 
boscis pierces the fish's back to suck its blood. 

Temperature of the water at Saratoga 
Springs was found to be quite high, ranging 
rather closely between 82 and 83 Fahrenheit, 
and to maintain that temperature consistently, 
as it is a warm spring. No doubt the tempera- 
ture of the surrounding shallow pools, which 
are away from the source of warm water, 
fluctuates quite widely as does the air tem- 
perature from night to day and summer to 
winter. Death Valley is one of the hottest 
regions in the world. The minimum daily 
temperature in summer is rarely below 70° F. 
(in the shade) ; and the maximum may, for 
days in succession be as high as 120 , and the 
U. S. Weather Bureau has recorded an ex- 
treme of 134°. But even though the fish might 
be used to wide temperature changes it was 
deemed most advisable to transport them the 
three hundred miles out of the desert in 
thermos jugs in order to maintain a constant 
temperature; and in that manner all of the 
specimens arrived home safely. 

As aquarium pets 

The fish have made most interesting aqua- 
rium specimens for well over a year. Some 
have lost their lives through their very ardent 
pugilistic activities ; but much of this is avoided 
by keeping the aquarium thickly planted. Tem- 
perature variations seem to cause no great 
harm other than a loss of color and vivacity. 
They still live in water brought from Sara- 
toga Springs, but this has been diluted with an 
equal volume of tap water, thus considerably 
reducing the alkalinity and salinity. One looks 
at these little minnows pushing their way 
determinedly about the aquarium and knows 
that they are "tough" fish, as well they must 
be, to have survived since the ice age in a little 
pool in Death Valley only twenty miles from 
Bad Water, the lowest and hottest place in 
the United States. 



138 



NATURAL HISTORY, SEPTEMBER, 1 936 



The Desert Fish of Death Valley 




Death Valley, the lowest, hottest region of the the breeding place of myriad finny survivors 

United States, might not seem a likely place of the Ice Age 

to find fish. Yet the salt pool shown below is t/m pi, otos by William /". Ward) 




THE DESERT FISH OF DEATH VALLEY 



139 



(Left) Collecting aquarium specimens of 
these cannibalistic fish with bait, net and 
thermos jug. Insects must be placed on the 
water to hold their attention long enough 
to slip the net under them 




140 



NATURAL HISTORY, SEPTEMBER, 1 936 



From the shallow, marshy /tools where the fish hatch they 
swim into the central pool shown //clow to wage their struggle 
for existence with their cannibalistu parents. It is believed 

that they are survivors from the Glacial Age, when the desert 
had a moist climate and fresh water covered much o) lh< 
territory in the southwestern United States 




The captured specimens were 
put in a thermos jug, which was 
later found unnecessary, as the 
fish arc so hardy as to need no 
temperature protection 




THE DESERT FISH OF DEATH VALLEY 



141 




Photographing specimens of the Death Valley The Death Valley fish (Cyprinodon macu- 
fish. A special aquarium was used in order to larium), about three-quarters life-size. The 
keep the fish in focus and to obtain true-size females (left) have prominent vertical bars on 
pictures their gray sides, zuhile the male (right) is a bril- 

liant iridescent blue with faint vertical bars 




142 



NATURAL HISTORY, SEPTEMBER, I936 



The Tragedy of the Culbin Sands 

An amazing catastrophe which changed a section of 
the fair Scottish countryside into a miniature Sahara and made 
time stand still for more than two centuries 



By H. Mortimer Batten 

In the autumn of 1694 there occurred at 
Culbin, on the Moray Firth, midway be- 
tween Nairn and Forres and just where 
the wonderful and varied River Findhorn 
joins the sea, one of the most curious calami- 
ties which has ever occurred in Scotland. Cu- 
rious yet tragic, for in Great Britain one 
hardly expects the overwhelming forces of Na- 
ture to make themselves felt. 

One autumn afternoon a wind sprang up 
from the sea bearing with it the sting of fly- 
ing sand. Little was thought of it, for in spite 
of the wonderfully mild climate of that area 
of Scotland, which lies open to the sun yet is 
sheltered from the cold winds by the Gram- 
pian Mountains, autumn storms which piled 
up sandhills and caused the sea to make great 
inroads into the coast, were not unusual. As 
the wind strengthened, however, the sand 
thickened, and its onslaught became so fierce 
that laborers in the fields were compelled to 
leave their ploughs in the half-cut furrows, 
where many of them remain to this day. 

The storm rises 

As night came on, the fury of the storm 
passed all records. It was then that some of 
the villagers recollected that some days pre- 
viously an old woman, supposed to possess the 
powers of witchcraft, had visited the village in 
search of charity which had been refused from 
door to door. On finally leaving the village 
she breathed a curse upon its inhabitants. The 
fear of a witch's curse was strong in Scotland 
in those days; in fact, less than a century ago, 



such powers went unquestioned, and even to- 
day there are many who shrink in terror from 
the curse of an old woman, just as there are 
many who would go far to obtain for their 
children the blessing of very old people. 

That night the fear of being buried alive 
descended upon the inhabitants. The sand 
clouds were beating in waves upon the village, 
so that fishermen's cottages, the laborers' dwell- 
ings, and the improved grounds surrounding 
the fair barony of Culbin were rapidly becom- 
ing drifted over. At midnight the villagers 
fled. The young Laird with his wife and baby 
made their way out of the storm-stricken area 
with the rest, and one can picture the proces- 
sion, for in those days there was no way of 
spreading information as to the kind of calam- 
ity which had befallen them. 

The Laird and his wife found refuge at 
Earnhill, but next morning the storm had 
abated and the villagers returned. 

The village buried 

They found their cottages covered, only the 
roofs and chimney pots showing, but by dig- 
ging down they managed to release their horses 
and cattle, which were then driven inland. 
That night the storm recommenced with 
double fury, and next morning not a vestige 
of the village was to be seen. Millions of tons 
of sand buried the houses, and sweeping far 
inland was a vast and tumultuous desert of 
sand. To the people of Culbin it was incred- 
ible that this vast accumulation, built up in a 
few hours, could have come by the ordinary 
course of things. It was said by many that 
the depths of the sea actually disgorged the 



THE TRAGEDY OF THE CULBIN SANDS 



143 



sands, and naturally all kinds of rumors and 
superstitions were current for many years. 

The Mansion House of Culbin was, it seems, 
a square building standing on level ground, 
surrounded by its garden and grounds. The 
immediate lands were rich and profitable, for 
the area was known as the granary of Moray. 
Adjoining the house was a stone-built dove- 
cote, the privilege of the Barony, but now all 
was irrevocably buried and lost to man's ten- 
ancy. The Kinnairds were practically ruined. 

The following year the young Laird applied 
to the Scots Parliament for a release of land 
tax on the grounds that by an act of God two- 
thirds of his estate had been destroyed. Par- 
liament granted the relief sought, and at the 
same time passed an act prohibiting the pull- 
ing of bent, juniper, and broom, the binding 
roots of which help to make the sandhills per- 
manent. The act is still in force. And one 



of the most interesting planting schemes is at 
present in progress in order to fix the dunes 
to prevent the sands working further inland. 
Marram grass is planted at short intervals, and 
other plants, such as Carex arenaria, which 
have strong, running roots, have at last ob- 
tained a hold on some of the more dangerous 
slopes. Corsican pine, Sea Buckthorn and grey 
alder are systematically set by the foresters, 
who are ever watchful for dangerous "blow 
outs" which might result in wholesale move- 
ment. In stormy weather it is unsafe to pene- 
trate the area. Many lives have been lost there, 
and in very few instances is the body recovered. 
The remainder of the story of the Kinnairds, 
succeeding their midnight flight from Culbin, 
is a sad one. Apparently the Laird and his wife 
lived in poverty, and both died a few years 
later. The little boy was taken charge of by 
a faithful old servant, who journeyed with 




The dotted lines in the above map mark the 
once fertile section of Scotland which a two- 
day storm in 16Q4 buried beneath millions 
of tons of sand. The area has ever since re- 



A Small Sahara in Scotland 
mained a barren waste of shifting dunes. In 
stormy weather it is unsafe to venture into it. 
Many lives have been lost there, and rarely is 
the body recovered. 



1 44 



NATURAL HISTORY, SEPTEMBER, 1 936 



him to Edinburgh, where she earned monej 
for him and herself by her sewing. The hoy 
passed into the regular Army, and it is strange 
that it should have been left to Ireland to rec 
ognize him. lie obtained a captaincy, bul died 
young and unmarried. 

For a hundred years there was no record 
from the desert area. The sands sighed and the 
wind moaned, a region forsaken by man and 
utterly worthless. Then one day the roof of 
the old Mansion House appeared like a ghost 
from the shifting, drifting area. There can 
be no doubt about this, for workmen were at 
once sent to carry away the most valuable 
stone work, but its reincarnation was short, 
for in a few days it was again swallowed up 
in the ever-moving desert. 

A living tree 

Until recently there lived an old man who 
told how one day an apple tree was revealed 
from a corner of the Culbin House orchard. 
In response to the daylight it promptly burst 
into blossom which quickly matured, as though 
the tree were giving forth its best to propa- 
gate its kind, but the sands closed again, and 
it was lost. 

The Culbin sands are forever shifting. The 
faintest eddy of wind sends sand-storms scud- 
ding across the white glitter, and a real wind 
entirely alters the lay of the country in a 
single night. Even on a still day the sands are 
continuously creeping; but the silence is abso- 
lute. There is no droning of insects, no song of 
birds, or rustle of leaves. Such timber as exists 
is stark and leafless. Overhead the sky is of the 
clearest and most intense blue, and if from the 
crest of the sandhills one overlooks the sur- 
rounding wold country, the fields and wood- 
lands are endowed with a richness of coloring 
unrivaled elsewhere. Only on the dullest days 
does the sky darken overhead, and while the 
sands are yellow after rain, they are normally 
of pearly whiteness. In some lights the desert 
is overhung with a golden glow which seems 
to emanate from the sand, and I am told that 
when darkness gathers, the surroundings are 
apt to assume an unearthly purple stain, such 
as is sometimes seen over the Arctic snows. 
One of the most curious features of this land 
is that distance cannot be measured by eye. A 
companion fifty yards away may appear as a 
far distant figure ; a slope rising almost from 
one's feet may appear on the remote skyline. 



For cen tunes the port ot Findhorn carried 
mi an active export with England and the 
countries of continental I urope, and the inter- 
est "i this extraordinarj region i- enhanced 
b) in historic relics. Industries which required 
a high degree of skill were carried mi over the 
area now obliterated, and when the winds lay 
hare the naked soil, the hoot marks of cattle 
and even the imprint- of man himself are 
found as clearlj impressed a- '>n the day they 
were made. In the Edinburgh Museum there 
is an immense collection of Hint arrow-heads, 
-aw-, scrapers, and knives, taken from the Cul- 
bin area. These have been picked up by casual 
collectors during the past fifty years, but by 
no mean- are there signs of the supply becom- 
ing exhausted. Anyone visiting the place is 
sure to find such relics. Numbers of articles 
of bronze manufacture have also been found, 
rinns, rivets, studs, and pins, also crucibles and 
molds of stone. A beautiful bronze armlet of 
ancient Celtic pattern was recently discovered, 
also a small penannular brooch, one of several, 
was picked up by a lady, while another lady 
found a massive bronze finger-ring and a 
bronze spear-head. 

Historical relics uncovered 

I saw a collection of coins made by one 
who had visited the region for that purpose. 
They were extraordinarily varied, being of 
Roman, French, English, Scottish, and Flem- 
ish mintage. The coins range from 21 B.C. 
to the time of Charles II. With one excep- 
tion there have been no known discoveries of 
treasure. At one time, a laborer working near 
to the area of the sands, found a bag of silver 
coins. They proved to be pure silver of the 
highest grade, and the man at once hid his 
find from his fellow workmen. That night he 
and his wife returned for the money, and 
from a laborer he became a farmer of some 
standing. His story, of course, leaked out, and 
some of the coins were traced and duly- 
identified. 

For all the lifelessness of the Culbin sands, 
the surrounding country is rich in bird and 
plant life. Sea birds of many kinds haunt and 
breed in the wild region where Findhorn 
joins the sea. Water plants of many varieties 
abound, and the Findhorn valley, so dearly 
loved by Charles St. John, is, from the moun- 
tains to the sea, one of the most varied and 
remarkably beautiful in the British Isles. 



THE TRAGEDY OF THE CULBIN SANDS 



145 



The Tragedy of the Culbin Sands 

A Historic Catastrophe in Pictures by H. Mortimer Batten 



In 1694 a witch's curse was followed by a 
two-day sandstorm which completely buried 
the fertile Scottish barony of Culbin. The ac- 
companying photographs show the scene of this 
astounding calamity as it appears today 



After fleeing by night to avoid being buried 
alive, the villagers the next day found only the 
roofs of their cottages showing, and had to dig 
to release their imprisoned cattle. A day later 
not a vestige of the village remained in sight 





146 



NATURAL HISTORY, SEPTEMBER, 1 936 



Stark, leafless timber: 
once an apple-tree thrust 
out and blossomed in the 
sun; then the ever shift- 
ing sands closed over it, 
reclaiming their own 






IJEHhHHHI 



THE TRAGEDY OF THE CULBIN SANDS 



H7 





(Hi *rtT' Kin 






0» a ^/'// ^ £/;<? silence is absolute. There is Beneath the millions of tons of sand lie plow- 
no droning of insects, no song of birds, or shares abandoned in their furrows and innum- 
rustle of leaves; and distances are strangely erable historic relics, many of which have been 
deceptive found by collectors 



NATURAL HISTORY, SEPTEMBER, 1 936 



Your Treasure-House of Jewels 

A review of " The Story of the Gems" by Herbert P. 
Whitlock, a handbook to the position of precious stones in Nature 
and in human life and philosophy 



By George C. Vaillant 

Associate Curator of Mexican 
Archaeology, American Museum 

Mr. Whitlock, Curator of Minerals 
and Gems of the American Museum 
of Natural History, has had to com- 
bine in his professional work, the bleak re- 
search of a pure scientist, the joyful acquisi- 
tiveness of a collector, a professional appraiser's 
canny skill in evaluation, and the aesthetic 
sensitiveness of a connoisseur of lovely things. 
The joining of these varied points of view goes 
to make The Story of the Gems* far more 
' than "A Popular Handbook" as his subtitle 
modestly states, but rather a delightful descrip- 
tion of the meaning of the author's Hall in the 
Museum, revealing as many planes of interest 
as the more intricately cut of his treasures pos- 
sess facets. 

Written for the layman 

The plan of the book is broadly and logically 
conceived. An introduction defines gems and 
explains the reasons for their value. Then fol- 
lows a chapter on the history and development 
of jewelry with emphasis on precious stones. 
Since the appreciation and esteem for such ob- 
jects on the part of Man have caused him to 
direct much inventiveness and technical skill 
to their preparation as ornaments, Mr. Whit- 
lock gives two fascinating chapters on the art 
of the lapidary and the methods of cutting 
precious stones. 

Having laid down a basis for the apprecia- 
tion of gems, the author describes the chief 



* The Story of the Gems, Herbert P. Whitlock, 
pp. ix, 206, illustrated. Lee Furman, Inc., New York, 
1936. $3.50. 



groups of precious stones. The diamond well 
merits its two chapters, the second of which 
describes the most famous stones of this class. 
Another section covers rubies, sapphires, and 
emeralds. Two chapters describe semi-precious 
stones like topaz, tourmaline, spinel, and 
zircon ; and chrysoberyl and opal are consid- 
ered apart, as semi-precious stones that have 
advanced into the precious grade through in- 
trinsic beauty and popular demand. 

The quartz gems, rock crystal, amethyst, 
onyx, and the like, are placed in a special cate- 
gory since not only are these substances used as 
jewels but also in small objects involving ar- 
tistic as well as technical skill in manufacture. 
Opaque gems like turquoise and lapis lazuli 
and a number of less known varieties have a 
chapter, as does deservedly jade. A chapter 
on unusual gem stones opens delightful possi- 
bilities for ornament, and the final chapter 
is devoted to such organic products as pearls, 
amber, coral and shell, all of which have been 
used as jewelry. A bibliography, a descriptive 
table of gems and an index complete the 
volume. 

Handsomely illustrated 

The illustrations are excellent. First and 
foremost is the frontispiece, a double page in 
colors, presenting twenty-four jewels. The 
play of light in these superb specimens is so 
faithfully reproduced by the artist that one 
almost seems to behold the actual gems. Ju- 
dicious use is made of photographs, illustrating 
not only the chief treasures of the Morgan 
Hall but also the technique of preparing them. 
A lucid series of diagrams aids vastly in the 
understanding of the types of gem cutting. 



YOUR TREASURE-HOUSE OF JEWELS 



149 



This outline gives the summary of a com- 
petently prepared handbook, but the Story of 
the Gems contains much more than the descrip- 
tion, analysis, and appraisal implied by such 
a volume. Mr. Whitlock, by the use of anec- 
dote and observation, by the heading of his 
chapters with astutely selected quotations, 
brings out constantly in his pages the relation 
of man to the stones he considers precious. He 
places as much stress on the aesthetic values 
of his subject as he does on the scientific, nor 
does he fail to lay due emphasis on the technical 
considerations of craftsmanship. 

This approach brings out very strongly that 
there is far more to the appreciation of precious 
stones than a knowledge of their mineralogical 
rarity or their market value. In fact, to some 
of us the cost factor has become so overwhelm- 
ingly important that the intrinsic value of gems 
has been obscured by the ignoble one of ex- 
trinsic or commercial worth. In the Fine Arts, 
heavy as is the shadow cast by the astronomic 
prices of masterpieces, it is not yet able to dim 
their genuine intrinsic value to a public edu- 
cated by school and museum to the appreciation 
of craftsmanship and aesthetics. 

Yet it is rare to find an individual so ab- 
sorbed in the subtle refractions achieved by the 
inherent beauty of his stone enhanced by the 
skill of the lapidary, as that same individual 
would be in a painting or a sonata. One might 
almost draw the grotesque analogy that if the 
public attitude to the fine arts were like its ap- 
preciation of beautiful gems, we would find 
on great occasions like the opening of the opera 
season people parading like sandwich-men pla- 
carded front and rear with masterpieces of 
Italian and French art, or else laboring their 
heaving way beneath an ancient Greek statue, 
vying as to whose was the heavier or more 
complete. 

What makes gems valuable 

Mr. Whitlock, however, shows very clearly 
why the major gem stones occupy their supreme 
position among jewels. Their supremacy is due 
to their qualities of color, hardness, trans- 
parency, and refraction of light, and not to the 
machinations of middle-men and super-sales- 
men. Fashion, of course, as in every other 
aspect of human life, plays its part, and to 
some the delicate carving of the emerald from 
Delhi might seem a sacrilege, since brilliance 
was sacrificed to graphic design. Certainly few 



stones can compare with the "Star of India," 
the sapphire that is queen of the Morgan Hall. 
Such treasures are for the few. None the less 
there are marvelous effects to be attained and 
pleasures to be derived from the use of lesser 
stones, which because of fragility or lack of 
high refraction cannot take their place with the 
major examples of the diamonds, sapphires, 
and rubies. It seems such a waste to see worn 
in every American community those sad little 
diamonds, symbolizing all our social striving, 
when for the same cost a rich and satisfying 
gem like a topaz or an opal could be obtained. 

Beauty not always costly 

A visit to the Morgan Gem Hall, one might 
almost say to Mr. Whitlock's treasure house, 
offers infinite possibilities for the gratification 
of one's most lusty craving for personal adorn- 
ment. The wide variety of minerals — precious, 
semi-precious, and common — present possibili- 
ties for jewels which, unlike diamonds and 
rubies, are not, in the strictest sense of the 
phrase, kings' ransoms. 

The late Dr. George F. Kunz called atten- 
tion to the possibilities in this direction but 
without success in diverting public taste to a 
more abundant source of supply. To be sure 
there was some innovation in utilizing as 
gems stones whose value was enhanced because 
of their scarcity. The wearing of inexpensive 
but handsome stones has a further application 
in these days of brigandage, no less severe if 
more furtive than in days gone-by. It seems 
highly unenterprising to wear imitations of 
known gems when it is possible to explore 
fresh fields of beauty, or even to return to more 
primitive days when lesser gems set in relation 
to their settings made adequate ornament with- 
out stressing the absolute value of the stone. 

Mr. Whitlock, however, gives an additional 
reason, Romance, why the major stones will 
always keep their allure. Gems are indestruc- 
tible, and by changes in cut and in setting a 
famous stone may pass through a varied, at 
times bloody, history. There is a peculiar fas- 
cination in speculating as to what extremes of 
human cupidity governed the successive owner- 
ship of the diamond in one's ring. 

A handbook is not expected to appeal to all 
types of interest, but the Story of the Gems al- 
most reaches that goal. The problem of presen- 
tation in a handbook is very much the same as 



I50 



NATURAL HISTORY, SEPTEMBER, 1 93 6 



that in preparing a Museum exhibition. The 
book and the hall ideally should interest as 
well as instruct, and both must therefore be 
capable of touching at some point the most ex- 
treme reaches of human social experience. 

Mr. Whitlock's use of quotations to intro- 
duce each phase of his theme, is a delightful 
means for bringing his subject within the range 
of the layman. Thus before describing the 
famous diamonds of the world he quotes from 
Pliny: 

"The greatest value among the objects of 
human property, not merely among precious 
stones, is due to the adamas [diamond] for a 
long time known only to kings and even to 
very few of these." 

Jade through the ages 

This description tallies very well with the 
impersonal quality of the precious stones. The 
chapter on jades, however, is prefaced by an 
observation of Confucius', "In ancient times 
men found the likeness of all excellent qualities 
in jade." The all too brief chapter on this 
singularly subtle carving of a stone that ranks 
as precious in the East and in pre-Columbian 
Central America, but in the Western World 
does not attain jewel quality, becomes invested 
with the pervasive charm of the East. 

In the case of jade, one enters the field of 
what might be called subjective jewelry, since 
the chief pieces of carving are meant to be 
contemplated by the owner. In contrast to 
jade, diamonds and the like have an objective 
quality, for they are worn as much to impress 
others as to give the wearer direct satisfaction 
in their mere possession. Whereas technical 
consideration of workmanship enhances the 
brilliance of a jewel, it takes a consummate 
artist to create a lovely jade. 

The intricate patterns used to ornament 
Chinese bowls, boxes, or vases, retain in outline 
a gracious purity of line. Goddesses, gracefully 
poised, show the various qualities of character 
possessed by the divinity. Jade is as beautiful 
to touch as to see, and indeed the Chinese had 
special pieces to finger, so greatly did they ap- 
preciate the cool contours of this precious stone. 
The ancient Mexicans, too, esteemed the jade 
above all other minerals and it is tempting to 
think that it is an old folk-memory of their 
Oriental origin. 

Between the gems and the jades there is 



apparent a conflict in standards of value. A 
flawless diamond is a work of nature drama- 
tized by man's technical skill in revealing the 
innate properties of the stone. A master jade 
from China is precious not only because of its 
color but also because of the work of the 
sculptor who, in transforming the Ston 
work of art, creates its highest value. In other 
words, in jade, art transcends the natural prod- 
UCt. The early craftsmen of past civilizations 
were too concerned with finding mean- 
duing Nature and constraining it to their bene- 
fit, to be overly interested in preserving natural 
substances for their beauty. True they recog- 
nized some stones as more beautiful than 
others, but they used them as graded elements 
of a necklace, or in a setting, or as a substance 
to be carved. Natural products at first had to 
be subjected to human use, before they could 
be considered in terms of their own position in 
Nature. To the art historian, this primitive 
jewelry is more attractive than stones cut and 
set simply to enhance their natural properties. 
Yet these technically advanced methods of 
modern man reflect, perhaps, his lofty concep- 
tion of the universe, which recognizes the lim- 
itations of man in the face of Nature. 



A book for every one 

However, whether one be an aesthete, a 
craftsman, a mineralogist, a Marxian political 
economist, or better, someone with an open 
interest in the world around him, he will find 
that Mr. Whitlock has indeed told "The Story 
of the Gems," and has preserved a fine bal- 
ance in the actual subject-matter as well as in 
the various aspects under which precious stones 
may be considered. Mr. Whitlock has, in 
simple language, made a complex subject in- 
telligible, and he has set a standard worthy of 
emulation in all departments of the Museum, 
for the explanation of his Hall. It is easy to list 
and to explain specifically, but Mr. Whitlock 
has made it possible to see not only why it is 
of interest and advantage to have a mineral 
hall, but also why it is so essential to have col- 
lections displayed illustrating the physical basis 
of every subject. Mr. Whitlock has done us 
all, Museum visitor and Museum employee, a 
great service in his charming exposition of so 
fascinating a field of knowledge. He should 
receive our heartiest congratulations. 



YOUR TREASURE-HOUSE OF JEWELS 



151 



Your Treasure-House of Jewels 

A SELECTION OF PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE NEW BOOK, 

"The Story of the Gems/' by Herbert P. Whitlock 




A group of gem crystals of tourmaline {rub el- County, California. These magnificent crystals 
lite) with quartz from Pala, San Diego are typical of the triangular tourmaline prism 



152 



NATURAL HISTORY, SEPTEMBER, 1 936 




A large bowl carved with a design of chrysan- fine carving represents the work of the Chinese 
themums from spinach green nephrite. This jade carvers of the last century 



YOUR TREASURE-HOUSE OF JEWELS 



153 




With its 444 perfectly pro- 
portioned facets the blue 
topaz shown in the photo- 
graph at the left is a mar- 
velous expression of the 
art of the lapidary 




The "Star of India" the largest star sapphire 
gem known to exist, weighing 363 1/3 carats 
{Enlarged 3 times) 



J54 



NATURAL HISTORY, SEPTEMBER, I 93 6 



A /ir/urine representing the 
"Goddess of Mercy" 
carved from Tibetan tur- 
quoise by a Chinese lapi- 
dary 



The Schlettler Emerald: an 87^-carat ex- 
ample of 16th century Delhi engraving. 
This stone, as well as the "Star of India" 
on the preceding page, is reproduced in 




color in "The Story of the Ge 



(Here enlarged J times) 




YOUR TREASURE-HOUSE OF JEWELS 



155 



Mystery Animal 



When no reasonable explanation could account f or the killing of 
sheep and deer throughout New York State, a devotee of NATURAL 
HISTORY took up the trail to identify this mysterious predator 



By Fred Streever 

Wolves, native to the Adirondack^, 
vanished from New York State dur- 
ing the last century. In my own 
County of Saratoga the last one of public 
record appears to have been killed in 1817 and 
a bounty of $10.00 collected therefor, though 
some scattered individuals persisted in the 
North Woods for many years more. 

Rumors of a recurrence began to float about 
in hunting circles about 1930 and were fol- 
lowed by more or less circumstantial news- 
paper accounts of sheep, pigs and calves being 
killed all over the state, and in 1933 our 
County Board of Supervisors replaced the 
antique bounty of $10.00, at the same time 
declaring a night quarantine on dogs, which 
were suspected. 

Dogs or wolves? 

In the opinion of most hunters and trappers 
familiar through forty years of winter hunt- 
ing on snow, where every trail is scrutinized 
and its maker identified, the stories of wolves 
were unbelievable. And when various pelts 
were turned in for the bounty we were not 
surprised to find one after another of them 
were pelts of "police dogs," some of whom 
showed signs of having been but lately di- 
vested of their collars. 

All this talk of wolves seemed merely non- 
sense to me and comparable to the occasional 
panther stories still recounted beside the deer 
hunters' bivouac fires. "Where would the 
wolves come from?" said I, "with none south 
of the St. Lawrence River for over fifty years 
past?" 

156 



But one afternoon in mid-December, 1935, 
one of my friends called from the Court House 
where the Supervisors of Saratoga County 
were then in session and said they'd like me 
to say what I thought of an animal that had 
just been brought in for wolf-bounty. On 
the way I decided to avoid calling some good 
citizen a misguided nut who had killed an- 
other dog by saying that no identification short 
of dissection at the American Museum could 
be considered as positive. 

Wolf! 

The animal had been killed within a few 
hours and was not quite cold. He lay on the 
floor in the hall. There was quite a crowd 
around him as I came up the stairs, and some- 
body was saying, "He's a wolf all right." That 
riled me a little, and I had just got my mouth 
open when I noticed the short tail. Of course, 
that typical wolf brush was only a coincidence, 
I told myself; but the darn thing was higher 
at the withers and lower in the quarters than 
any dog I ever saw. I took a look at his feet 
(fur between the pads), and at his coat (dense 
fur underneath and mixed gray in color). 
Then they uncovered his mask : a slant eyed, 
sharp muzzled, curved tusked mug. And over- 
board went my caution. 

"You can send him to Cornell or New 
York," said I, "for I think they'll want to see 
him; but for me, I'll go on record right now. 
It's a wolf!" 

The pinch was, where did he come from? 
And if this was a wolf, there almost certainly 
must be others. 

For me the wolf mystery thereafter re- 
mained in status quo until one snowy day in 

NATURAL HISTORY, SEPTEMBER, 1 936 



January when our red fox chase with the 
hounds ended prematurely in the Grafton 
Mountains (across the Hudson River from 
our home). We were motoring back through 
the north end of the Luther Tree Plantation, 
an almost impenetrable thicket some 12,000 
acres in extent of evergreen trees ten to 
twenty-five years old. In 1918 this had been 
the scene of many successful red fox chases 
both summer and winter, but the planted trees' 
growth had been increasing and the red foxes 
had about disappeared, so we had done no 
hunting there of late years. A new fallen snow 
presented its clear record of the ramblings of 
the night before, a maze of bunny tracks, a 
few grouse trails, a woods gray fox. 

Strange tracks 

And then we found what we were looking 
for but hadn't really expected to see. Strange 
tracks ! As large as a dog's but with a more 
elongated footprint. Most interesting of all 
was the course of the trails, which as any 
woodsman will know determines his findings 
as much as does the footprint itself. A dog 
or even a fox would have sought the woods 
path for less obstructed travel but these tracks 
threaded the densest thickets. 

During the remainder of January and early 
February, 1936, I tried at various times to 
get my older foxhounds to take the cold trails 
of the mysterious beasts on the Luther Planta- 
tion. Conditions were not of the best. Snow 
lay very deep and the hounds could do little 
but wallow through the thickets. Old Rambo, 
in his fourteenth year, seemed willing, but 
being a tremendously heavy hound he sunk so 
deep that little more than his head was above 
the snow, and progress was negligible. Some 
days we could not find a trail, nor was the 
weather often suitable. Late one cold February 
afternoon old Min, nine years old, trailed and 
found something or other that caused consider- 
able and noisy excitement on her part, but be- 
fore our snowshoes could get us over the three- 
foot snows to the scene, Min had changed her 
mind about it and thereafter refused the trails. 
We saw none of the beasts. 

But we had come to the conclusion that 
there were five different individuals and that 
the range of the animals differed from day to 
day. They were in a different place every day 
but always in about the densest cover to be 
found. There appeared to be two females and 

MYSTERY ANIMAL 



three males, one of which was much larger 
than the rest. 

Finally we decided to try some of the 
younger and perhaps less choosey Walker 
hounds from my Rafinesque Kennels, near 
Troy. So we drove down and brought back 
Keene, Penny, Shotgun Joe and Red Tugwell 
and waited for better weather. 

The Museum is consulted 

Meanwhile feeling that our evidence pointed 
definitely towards wolves in our local hunt- 
ing grounds we wrote to the American 
Museum of Natural History and received the 
following prompt reply from Dr. H. E. An- 
thony, Curator of Mammalogy : 

American Museum of Natural History, 

New York, 

February 28, 1936. 
Dear Mr. Streever: 

Your interesting letter of Feb. 27th arrives at a 
very opportune time. I have just today written a 
long letter to Mr. W. Winters, Acting District 
Game Protector, Saranac Lake Division, regarding 
the presence of canines in the Adirondacks. 

For several years now the Museum has been in 
touch with steveral of the Game Protectors in that 
region and with certain interested individuals in 
the attempt to secure a series of specimens to work 
out the ancestry of the packs of dog-like animals 
which are running at large, killing game, and 
behaving as wolves. 

There have been no wolves in the Adirondacks 
since the close of the last century. When these 
marauding canines were first reported they were 
said to be wolves, but when specimens were re- 
ceived at this Museum and at the Biological Sur- 
vey in Washington, they proved to be either feral 
dogs or coyotes. The coyotes arrived in the Adiron- 
dacks as escaped animals and did not come into 
the region under their own power. The dogs, 
which seem to be predominating elements in the 
packs, are large animals, either police dogs, collies 
or shepherd types. Apparently the coyotes run with 
the dogs and the interesting point at issue is 
whether the two animals have crossed and there 
are now hybrids in the packs. 

I have examined specimens which combine the 
characters of these two animals and the evidence 
seems to be best disposed of by assuming that we 
do have hybrids. An argument against this is the 
lack of adequate observations demonstrating that 
the two animals actually do cross. There seems to 
be no doubt that the escaped coyotes in the Eastern 
States, lacking their own kind to run with, take 
up with wild dogs, and this condition has been 
reported from several Eastern States. 

I am very much interested in acquiring additional 
material and would be very glad indeed to have 
skins and skulls of any of these canines you may 
capture. . . . 

Regarding your question as to whether a dog 

157 



may be distinguished from a wolf, my reply would 
be that since dogs are lineal descendants of wolves, 
the dividing line between large, primitive type 
dogs and wolves is poorly defined; that is to say, 
there are very few characteristics to distinguish a 
husky dog from a pure-blooded wolf. As one en- 
counters the highly developed breeds of dogs, there 
are very obvious differences which enter into con- 
sideration and it is easy to separate the dogs from 
the wolves. There are certain cranial characters 
which make it possible to separate coyotes from 
wolves and from their lineal descendant, the dog, 
but the Adirondack animals have displayed several 
very confusing blends of these characters, and I 
am glad to learn of your interest and offer to send 
us material which will be valuable to get at the 
facts. . . . 

Very sincerely yours, 

(Signed) H. E. Anthony, 
Curator of Mammalogy. 

Something more than dogs 

Closely following Doctor Anthony's re- 
sponse came a letter from a kinsman of mine 
who is District Game Protector of Saranac 
Lake Division in the upper Adirondacks. Ray 
Burmaster always speaks his mind, and on the 
matter of whether these disturbers were feral 
dogs or not Ray had few or no doubts. His 
letter follows : 

State of New York, 
Conservation Department, 
Saranac Lake, N. Y. 
Dear Fred: 

... I am not surprised . . . that you are find- 
ing some of these so-called mystery animals down 
there. . . . 

The way it started up here is as follows: For 
a good many years I have received information 
from the natives living in the Town of Belmont 
in the vicinity of the headwaters of Trout River 
about wolves being up in there. Every once in a 
while some guide would come in and tell me about 
hearing them howl. Also I was continually receiv- 
ing complaints about dogs running there and chas- 
ing the deer out of the country. On several dif- 
ferent occasions I sent Game Protectors in there 
and they found where deer had been killed and 
eaten up. They found tracks of what they supposed 
to be dogs; but were never successful in catching 
sight of any of them. 

A few years ago, an old hunter and trapper who 
lives on a farm which borders the forest in a 
locality which is known as the 'Caughlin School 
section' in the Town of Belmont, claimed he saw 
seven wolves cross his farm, traveling in a south- 
ernly direction in single file, and going towards the 
woods. He claimed there was a very large animal 
at the head. This man has hunted and trapped 
wolves in Canada and he impressed me as being 
reliable when I talked with him. 

Robert Kimpton, another old guide and hunter 
who resides on the Salmon River about four or 

I 5 8 



five miles south of Malone, attempted to raise 
sheep. He owns quite a lot of land at the head of 
Trout River . . . and he pastured his sheep on this 
land. However, he had so many sheep killed that 
he was obliged to give up the venture. Of course, 
we all laid it to dogs; but Kimpton was satisfied 
that there was something more in that section than 
dogs. 

Wildest and slyest creatures 

Ray Burmaster went on to tell how two 
animals were caught alive and another one 
was shot. But disagreement resulted as to the 
true identity of the predators. His letter 
continues : 

The male looked to me exactly wolf color, and 
the female was redder than any red fox I had 
ever seen. 

I then detailed some of the Game Protectors 
to go into a section where we know these animals 
were to try and snare them. I spent some time 
with them myself, and I do not hesitate to say 
that these animals are the wildest and shyest 
things I have ever seen or heard of. We would 
find where they were disturbing beaver houses. 
We would find fresh signs and set a few snares 
in that vicinity and they would never return there 
again. We would hunt for several days all thru 
that country until we found fresh signs of them 
in some other locality. We would make a few sets, 
and that would be the last we would see of them 
in that section. We took a sheep up in the woods 
and killed it, and in due time foxes, skunk, and other 
animals came and ate on the carcass, but never 
one of these animals came near it. Foxes would 
follow our snowshoe trail but we never saw where 
any of these animals came nearer than 20 or 30 
feet from the trail. If they came down off the 
mountain, when they got near the snowshoe trail, 
they turned and went back, and that would be the 
last we would see of them in that immediate 
vicinity. 

The Game Protectors caught a glimpse of two 
they happened to surprise upon a ledge on the side 
of the mountain, where they were feeding on a 
deer. The signs there showed this pair had been 
feeding for a considerable length of time, but after 
the Protectors frightened them, they did not return 
there again that winter. 

In February, 193+, the Protectors were success- 
ful in capturing one of these animals in a snare. 
. . . This was examined by the Biological Survey of 
Washington, and after some length of time they 
told me that the easiest way to settle the contro- 
versy was to call them dogs. Doctor Anthony ex- 
amined it and was not satisfied to agree with their 
decision. 

That spring Robert Kimpton shot another animal 
that was one of three he came on to trying to get 
a beaver out of one of his traps. I sent that animal 
on to Washington and they reported that it was a 
dog. 

Later on that spring several of these animals 
were killed owing to the Supervisors of Franklin 

NATURAL HISTORY, SEPTEMBER, 1 936 



County giving a bounty of fifteen dollars each. 
Several men went in and trapped them. John 
Garland, a very good trapper, caught several pup- 
pies and Captain Broadfield kept three of them 
alive. . . . One died and he still has the other 
two. . . . No one can get near them hut him. I am 
enclosing a snapshot of Captain Broadfield with 
one of these animals. He has finally been success- 
ful in breeding them and now has five puppies 
which are about three weeks old. In talking with 
him the other day, I am quite satisfied he has 
changed his mind somewhat as to the identity of 
these animals and that he has come to the con- 
clusion that we should not overlook their impor- 
tance as predators 

It would seem to me that if these animals are 

wild dogs that we would find different color phases 

among them. No one ever has found one yet any 

other color except wolf-gray or red or roufus. . . . 

Very truly yours, 

(Signed) Ray L. Burm aster, 

District Game Protector, 
Saranac Lake Division. 

We will pass over the discouraging days of 
the next six weeks spent in getting hounds to 
follow the cold trails of unaccustomed quarry. 

Elusive shadows of the thicket 

Hounds are very interesting and intelligent 
sporting dogs but none the less aggravating 
at times. Besides this part has been told at 
some length in two hunting magazines.* To 
summarize many winter days followed, some 
rewarded with chases and some without, dur- 
ing which the gray shadows of the thicket 
earned a record of crafty elusiveness. 

Then, when winter was passing, there came 
a wet and belated fall of snow on the evening 
of March 8th. The story of the next day's ex- 
perience is best given by a letter I wrote the 
next night before tumbling into bed. If you, 
Reader, have followed my report so far with 
some of the interest of the huntsman you may 
consider it directed to yourself instead of 
W. H. Foster of Boston to whom it was 
addressed. 

... It is now March 9th and tonight my every 
stitch is draped round the big fireplace. Wet slush 
is the coldest thing I know of and it has been fall- 
ing on my back off the Luther pines about all day. 
The snow we had been waiting for started last 
night but by morning it was more rain than snow. 

I woke at the first light and was mighty pleased, 
as always, to see the new snow. ... I put Ruffian 
and Shotgun Joe and Tug in the truck. Old Fritz 
clambered into the top deck and refused to budge 
so I left him there. 

"National Sportsman, July, 1936. 
Outdoor Life, August, 1936. 



li was a dark, lowcry morning and raining 

.ir across the Lake. . . . Sonic slush 

Mill bung I" the pines so that everything was udiip. 

Hut we found a wolf track and put Ruffian on 

where it left the roadway. 

In twenty minutes Kulf was back and ready to 
get in the truck. It appeared he was not a wolf 
dog. This was a great disappointment. Ruff is our 
Btandby on bad going. Bui I look Joe on leash 
and cut a circle around the deep gully across 
which the track led off. It was tough going. Quite 
a lot of ice on the snow and it was rotten enough 
to break under my slices and with Joe's chain in 
one hand and my gun in the other there was no 
chance to save myself. Besides, the pines were 
planted only six feet apart and, of course, their 
15-year-old branches are now interlaced. 

After falling headlong several times, getting 
the gun barrel full of snow and plenty up my 
sleeves and down my neck I decided to cut across 
the gully. That was a mistake. In the gloom I 
lost bearings and first I knew I was back into the 
highway and hadn't enclosed the wolf trail at all. 
I put Joe into the truck and went up to where my 
companion Verne was on watch. Verne suggested 
my taking a little path he knew of which left the 
highway a mile north and this I did. But when I 
opened the truck door Ruff jumped out and knocked 
me over and Tug and Joe took advantage with the 
result that I had only Joe on leash and Ruff and 
Tug gave me the laugh as they ran off in the 
opposite direction from where I wanted them. 



Wolf scent 

But, after I'd gone a couple miles over the 
wood path, they thought better of the escapade, 
and following on, overtook me out in the densest 
part where Tug squealed as he got a little wolf 
scent. Joe took the trail too and I unsnapped his 
leash. Ruff didn't want any wolves. And after I'd 
followed along another mile or two he left me in 
disgust and headed back toward the car. 

Trailing was poor enough but we made prog- 
ress. I soon lost my bearings and when the going 
freshened up had no idea which way we were 
heading. It had continued to rain. . . . My snow- 
shoes weighed ten pounds apiece and the lacings 
were a mere bag. . . . 

It was two hours before I found my way out 
of the tangle and I was a mess by that time. Even 
my leather hat was soaked through. My joints were 
stiff. 

The chase had led right back at Verne. Ruff 
was there and had joined in, and they made the 
thickets ring. Chub Halloran had arrived and he 
and Verne had seen the wolf five times while he 
was being chivvied around the country bv the 
three hounds. Sometimes the big gray fellow was 
only a few rods ahead. At others a short turn 
would gain him a hundred yards' lead. . . . 

Shortly after I got back to the road, thoroughly- 
wet and miserable, the chase made a bad loss. 
Up to that time it had been just one furious, con- 
tinuous drive. The rain was just coming in straight 
lines and the loss looked pretty bad, though the 



MYSTERY ANIMAL 



!59 



hounds were still hard at work on both sides the 
road. 

I went to the truck and found a dry piece of 
newspaper to wipe my glasses as I had been too 
blind for an hour to shoot if the chance had come. 
I got a dry pair of gloves, caught Joe and Tug 
and gave them a biscuit apiece. Then Ruff came 
but he went on back up north searching. After 
resting a minute or so the heaviest rain seemed 
over. So, though it was late, I took the young 
hounds out again. 

Fritz was fresh but he is pretty old and 
crippled. Tug was used up. He is small anyhow 
and had been leading through the slush breaking 
path. It got later and later and the only excuse 
we had for sticking at it was that it would soon 
be dark anyhow and that somewhere in that forest 
there was a tired wolf. We wanted him. 

The Mystery Animal is run down 

Suddenly Fritz let out a single squeal away up 
north on the sand knoll. Joe went to him, Ruff fol- 
lowed and they began trailing again. Another 
half hour and we were again lined up while the 
chase faded into the southwest and away from us. 
It had been still for fifteen minutes when I heard 
a few more hoots far to the west and north. 
It seemed about over for the day but, through force 
of habit, we stuck to our appointed watches. And 
then a gun cracked up the road. 

I'd been waiting for that all day. Then two 
more shots. Then another and five minutes an- 
other. . . . On the chance that the shooting had 
been done at a wolf other than the one the hounds 
were after I drove up the road with Tug and 
found Verne peering into the thickets. The hounds 
were still over north of us. A wolf had come 
out to the edge of the thicket and though Verne was 
waiting with cocked gun, he turned on his own trail 
and was almost out of sight before Verne could 
shoot. The charge of chilled two's cut hair and 
bled the wolf badly. 

Verne shot twice after that but the brush was 
very dense. Chub was down in the gully on the 
trail. . . . The hounds came through while Verne 
and I stood there, and just before they got to 
Chub on the blood trail we heard his rifle crack 
again. This time he connected. But it was still 
some time before he could drag the carcass up the 
bank and through the dense pines. Daylight was 
gone when he got out into the highway again. We 
had to call to give him his bearings. 

The hounds did not shake the carcass as they 
would have a fox. We set the camera up in the 
effort to get a picture. I gave it a minute ex- 
posure but the photos are probably not much 
good. . . . 

I could not see any resemblance to the dog 
intermixture supposed to be characteristic of these 
animals, but expect to ship the carcass down to 
H. E. Anthony of the American Museum, New York 
City, for a close examination after Verne has 
claimed his bounty money. 

You must excuse my enthusiasm. The hound music 
is always very stimulating and I now realize that I 



had hardly expected we could really drive one of 
these critters ahead of the hounds long enough to 
kill him. We all got a big kick out of the race and 
its successful outcome. . . . 

I think there are at least four more of these 
brutes down in the Luther Trees Plantation. My 
own opinion is that they are wolves or coyotes 
and that there is no interbreeding. More than that 
I do not believe that these things run with the cur 
dogs, either wild or tame dogs. Of course, there are 
plenty of roaming dogs and with the actual pres- 
ence of wolves or coyotes and the increased killing 
of sheep as a result of their presence we are bound 
to hear some weird stories. 

The bounty, too, which hearsay has it, is $5.00 
for "wild dogs" and $15.00 for "wolves," will not 
tend to diminish the sensational stories. 

This big he "wolf" hasn't any dog characteris- 
tics that I can see, a chubby tail, a particularly 
good set of teeth, a good dense coat of underfur 
and most of all his peculiar odor, totally unlike any 
dog odor. Much more like a fox but not quite as 
musky. 

I hope to get some more of the younger hounds 
started on them. Our older ones are too well broken 
to enjoy transgressing. Ruff is a wonderful fox dog, 
but he would not take the cold trail this morning. 

Another gray predator 

Following the chase and kill of March 9th 
came other chases. On April 8th a very large 
animal was cold trailed and routed and viewed 
by myself three times as Old Fritz and Min 
and Ruffian noisily chivvied him about and 
through the dense thickets in the Luther 
Plantation. The next morning our enthusiasm 
got us out before dawn with eight hounds. 
After a chase which lasted perhaps eleven 
hours, sunset found us with another gray pre- 
dator — an old female this time. The tactics 
employed were largely "doubling," that is, a 
turning back on the trail and a wide leap aside. 

This summer there are still at large several 
of the animals in or about the Luther Planta- 
tion. If our reading of last winter's snow pages 
are correct there are one large and old, one 
small and younger male and one young female 
left to harry the farmer's sheep and poultry 
and to take a larger toll of the fawns, bunnies 
and perhaps of the grouse of the wilderness. 

Apparently the distribution is wide. 

I have no patience with the wild dog or 
dog-wolf theories which have obtained cre- 
dence in some quarters. There is an animal 
that I saw occasionally in the Wyoming 
Country while hunting elk during the falls 
of 1924-25-26. We noticed their plentiful dog- 
like tracks in the snow and among the dense 



160 



NATURAL HISTORY, SEPTEMBER, 1 936 



fir thickets of Andersen Creek, of the Grey 
Hull and of the upper Wind River. ( )ne day, 
in such surroundings, I caught an instant's 
clear, close view of a large, darkly grizzled 
shape. A few days later, far in the valley be- 
low, a silhouette paused at the edge of the 
thicket and my long, but fortunate, rifle shot 
laid low a light gray animal, free from any 
rufous tints, which I should have called a 
timber wolf. But Brian Sullivan (of Ned 
Frost's outfit, Cody, Wyoming) identified it 
as a timber coyote. A bit farther east and 
northward they call them "brush wolves." 

True enough there are plenty of wild dogs 
in New York State and there may be crosses 
of them but there are also, to my personal 
satisfaction at least, a plenty of Simon pure 
"brush wolves" or "timber coyotes," not as 
vocal or as small as their Mexican brethren, 
not as fiercely dangerous as the lobo or true 
timber wolf. 

The verdict 

But you will want to know what Dr. H. E. 
Anthony thought of the two complete car- 
casses and the extra skull I sent him. Here is 
his latest letter but hope not the last (he 
has promised to come up to my hermit's cabin 
and join myself and hounds in next winter's 
observation of the development of the coyote 
situation) : 

American Museum of Natural History, 
March 23, 1936. 
Dear Mr. Streever: 

I received your letter of March 20th this morning 
and wish to thank you for donating the skin to the 
Museum. I had completed my examination of the 
skin and it was about to be returned to you, but 
the complete specimen constitutes a valuable and 
interesting record, and I am very glad to have 
the privilege of retaining it. 

A careful examination of the skin and skull of 
this animal compared with coyote, wolf and dog 
confirms the early impression I had that your 
animal is a coyote. The skull is practically indis- 
tinguishable from the skulls of coyotes taken in 
the Western States, and although the skin, as I 
mentioned in my earlier letter, is not as brightly 



marked as moil >kin- ,,l coyotes, the final con- 
clusion must be that your animal was either 
brought into New York by human agency or is a 
descendant of such an imported coyote. 
1 otes are sometimei 'ailed prairie wolves, 

and to the lay public there arc not very main 
striking characters of distinction which -tand in 
the way of considering the coyote as simply a 
diminutive wolf. However, there are rather funda- 
mental differences between wolves and 1 
and the two lines of descent parted so long ago that 
today they are not likely to interbreed, if indeed 
they are genetically capable of doing so. 

Boiled down, this means that we do not have 
wolves in New York State if by wolves one means 
true wolves or timber wolves. The prairie wolves 
or coyotes which have been brought into the State 
by man himself are running at liberty here and 
thus by a stretch of the imagination one might 
speak of wolf-packs in New York, although this 
would not be strictly true. The timber wolf, the 
old-time wolf of the early settlers, had a head 
twice as massive as the heads of these coyotes, 
and the body of the animal would weigh several 
times as much. 

The skull of the animal which you cut off of the 
hanging carcass appears to belong to the same 
type of animal as the one your dogs ran down and 
I have considered it to be a coyote. I am glad to 
learn by your last letter that the skin of this animal 
was gray in color. 

Have you or any of your friends heard these 
animals howl? 

Assuring you of my appreciation of your co- 
operation, I remain, 

Very sincerely yours, 

(Signed) H. E. Anthony, 

Curator. 

Undesirable aliens 

And how did they get here? Specific in- 
stances of coyote and of wolf pups bought in 
the west by tourists, of gasoline station menag- 
eries, and of domesticated coyotes or even 
wolves are not hard to find nor are such con- 
fined to any one county in the State. As in the 
case of most undesirable aliens among us, 
smuggling and subterfuge has doubtless been 
practiced. 

The problem is no longer when or how they 
got here but what or even whether we can do 
anything about it. 



MYSTERY ANIMAL 



l6l 



Mystery Animal 



The last wolf of public record in New 
York State was killed in 1817, but when 
depredations among sheep and other 



domestic animals were reported in vari- 
ous parts of the state the cry of "Wolf!" 
went up. Was it justified? 



Drawing of Mystery Animal in action by Morgan Stinemetz 




:S: ";:f ! i*s3 t , 







/f/iMGAfi/Sr/AS 




Strange tracks which strengthened the belief 
that there were wolves at large in New York 
State: prints as large as a dog's hut more elon- 
gated, which threaded the densest thickets 



—\ 



Fred Streever Photos 

(Right) The Mystery Animal 
brought to earth: Fred 
Streever (right) and his hunt- 
ing partner George Cull, with 
the hounds which ran the cul- 
prit down 





(Left) One of the gray preda- 
tors, which local hunters con- 
sidered a wolf: an animal 
trapped by Claude L. Eddy and 
mounted by E. P. Hotaling 



Fred Streever from E. P. Hotaling 



Shotgun Joe, who liked to chase 
"wolves." The hounds did not 
shake the carcass as they would 
have a fox 





&«M&k.tff« L ..Hr ofyvU^ JO , s 5£. 

County of Saratoga 

to .. ..of.. .&.\.Jjffiht/AM/l.,...'j,... DR. A 







An animal which the Kimpton 
Brothers brought back alive. 
Men with experience in trap- 
ping wolves and coyotes in the 
West and Canada all pro- 
nounced this animal a young 
timber wolf 

(Left) The animal which Fred 
Streever brought in to clear up 
the mystery was a wolf in the 
eyes of the law; but the Mu- 
seum's verdict is that these alien 
animals are coyotes or "prairie 
wolves" 



MYSTERY ANIMAL 



l6 5 



The Glamour of the Giant's Causeway 



A visit to one of the most curious rock formations in the 
world, whose scientific explanation is less generally known but no 
less simple than its legendary origin 



By Harriet Geithmann 

It is hard to explain why certain far cor- 
ners of our precious planet capture our 
imagination even in childhood. The 
Giant's Causeway on the northeastern coast 
of the Emerald Isle captured mine when I 
was scarcely bigger than a grasshopper. Doubt- 
less the word "giant" was the first alluring 
feature. 

Finally when I reached Glasgow, Scotland, 
that same childhood whimsy took me by the 
hand and down the River Clyde we sailed 
for Londonderry and the Giant's Causeway. 
On that outstanding occasion it seems to me 
that every Scottish and Irish old-timer whom 
we met was exactly 70 years old and had 
served the public for exactly 30 years. As we 
glided past Kilpatrick 70-year-old Captain 
MacCullum who had sailed between Scot- 
land and Ireland for 30 years, flashed us a 
whimsical smile with this remark: 

"This is the very spot where St. Patrick, 
the canny Scot, was born and stepped across 
the Clyde after which he continued on to 
Ireland and chased out all the snakes and be- 
came a saint." 

Of for the land of "giants" 

The following morning as we churned 
across the River Foyle under the eyes of the 
Ballynagari Lighthouse and entered the harbor 
of Londonderry, that ancient walled-in city of 
Ulster, famous for its linen shirts and collars, 
we listened to a native daughter, Maggie 
O'Connell, crooning softly at the rail: "O 
Ireland, I'm sufferin' for you," and later, "If 
you are Irish come into the parlor, there's a 
welcome there for you." 

166 



In all directions our eyes rested on enchant- 
ing woodland glades starred with chestnut 
and hawthorne trees in full bloom and showers 
of scarlet rhododendrons. On leaving London- 
derry, a rocky road flanked by snowy haw- 
thorne hedges and ash trees shaking hands 
overhead, led us not to Dublin but to Port- 
rush, the very gateway to the Causeway 
country, a country of fairies and giants for- 
ever in the offing. All along the way we en- 
joyed glimpses of country life in Ulster, clean, 
spotless farmhouses with whitewashed walls 
and thatched roofs, shelter for man and 
beastie. To our left glistened the blue sur- 
faces of the Atlantic with the white surf 
pounding at the base of the limestone cliffs. 
To our right were green fields of oats starred 
with scarlet poppies and pastures where cows, 
crows and goats were content. Fragrant with 
the romance of the sea was each and every 
one of the seacoast villages through which we 
sped on our way. There were Ballykelly and 
Limavady, Bellalarna and Umbro, Castlerock 
and Colraine, each an Irish gem of color and 
simplicity. Yellow laburnums and purple li- 
lacs, primroses, bluebells and poppies made 
Eglinton a poem of color. Boys and their dogs 
drove their cows and goats along the narrow 
winding streets while girls, handy with brooms, 
waited in the doorways ready for all emergen- 
cies. Shaggy donkeys were traveling hither and 
yon hauling fathers and mothers and their 
youngsters homeward in crude carts. 

An atmosphere of Irish myths 

At Portrush, a 70-year old-timer, Don 
Martin assured us that he had driven a taxi 
for 30 years and if we would but deign to 

NATURAL HISTORY, SEPTEMBER, 1 936 



ride with him he would land us at the Cause 
way before we had left Portrush. Don was 

thinking in terms of American shekels hard 
and fast, almost too fast. We were loath to 
travel with such incredible speed to make our 
first call on the legendary bridge of the giants, 
therefore we cast our lot with Joe Fisher, 
another 70-year old-timer, who admitted that 
he had been a jarvey around the hills of Port- 
rush for 30 years. Climbing into his raggety- 
taggety Irish jaunting-car we jogged along 
easily after Billy, the bay. Cracking his whip 
over Billy's indifferent ears, Joe introduced 
us to the Skeery Isles, the haven of wild 
ducks and rabbits, the gleaming limestone 
cliffs and a promontory called the Giant's 
Head. Without half trying we saw the giant's 
huge freckled nose sniffing the salty tang of 
the sea, his daring goatee, his noble forehead 
and his green cap of moss with a button on 
top. The Lady's Wishing Arch reminded us 
that we were in the atmosphere of Irish 
myths. High upon a velvet bluff stood the 
crumbling ruins of Dunluce Castle erected 
ages ago with an eagle eye to a quick getaway. 

The Giant's this and that 

Finally, Billy, the bay, dropped us on top 
of a knoll in the shadow of a cluster of bleak 
hotels. With guides galloping at our heels 
offering to introduce us to the Causeway by 
boat, we left them and the ice cream cones 
far behind as we jogged down a steep and 
rocky trail and serenely approached the geo- 
logical wonder on foot. Behind a picket fence, 
we found 3 spits or tongues of pillared stones 
slanting out into the sea, the Little Cause- 
way, the Middle or Honeycomb and the 
Grand Causeway, all of them in the County 
Antrim on the northeastern coast of the Sham- 
rock Isle. The very moment we dropped our 
sixpence and went through the turnstile an- 
other 70-year old-timer, Jimmie, pounced 
down upon us and like babes among the stones, 
we gathered that if we refused Jimmie's ser- 
vices, the result of 30 years of experience in 
guiding folk over those columns, we would 
be lost indeed. Therefore with Jimmie limp- 
ing on ahead we trekked all over the Cause- 
way and breathed deeply of an atmosphere of 
giants. 

Every time we turned around we heard of 
the giant's this and the giant's that. Jimmie 



introduced us to the Giant'- Horseshoe, the 
Giant's Honeycomb, the Giant's Cannon, the 
Chimney Pots, and the Keystone 01 I 
way, which is the most perfect o< tagonal pil- 
lar; the Giant's Loom, $q feet high; the 
Giant's Gatewaj and the Bishop's .Mitre. I 
sided and even all around, the most perfect 
pillar in the entire Causeway. The Lady's 
Fan, a perfect combination of five pentagon- 
surrounded by a heptagon, all embroidered 
with moss, was a gem. Then we found the 
Giant's Organ Pipes and best of all the Giant's 
Wishing Chair, a regular Morris chair of 
stone with arms and back towards the sea. 
Here at Jimmie's firm command we rested in 
the quiet air of the giants and solemnly regis- 
tered three wishes all of which will come true 
eventually if not sooner IF we do not tell 
them to anyone on earth. 

Thus were we personally introduced to the 
most distinctive members of the great Cause- 
way family of 40,000 polygonal stones or 
columns, most of which we found standing 
perpendicularly with but a few of them lying 
horizontally. Most of them were arranged in 
sections varying from a few inches to several 
feet in height, all of which are fitted together 
like a great mosaic, convex ends and concave 
ends, 15 to 20 inches in diameter. Many-sided 
were they, triangular, pentagonal, hexagonal, 
heptagonal, octagonal and the largest of all 
was a nine-sided column. There were but two 
of these large columns and both of them were 
embroidered with tawny lichens. Jimmie 
pointed out that the wide sides invariably face 
one another and the narrow sides do likewise. 
We even found a diamond-shaped pillar. With 
the exception of the black pillars which indi- 
cated the high-water mark, the stones were 
silver-gray in tone, embroidered here and there 
with tawny lichens and tiny pink flowers. The 
Causeway reflects the changing moods of the 
Irish sky from dawn to dusk. 

How it was created 

Forgetting for the moment myths and 
metaphors, one pauses to ask how this spec- 
tacular formation was created. Geologically 
the Giant's Causeway is one of the most not- 
able examples of prismatic basaltic columns on 
the face of this planet. It extends like a nat- 
ural pier some 300 yards along the coast of 
County Antrim in northern Ireland and out 



THE GLAMOUR OF THE GIANT'S CAUSEWAY 



167 



some 500 feet into the North Channel, and 
then reappears at Fingal's Cave on the Island 
of Staffa on the West Coast of Scotland. 

Other fine examples of this same kind of 
formation are those scenic cliffs called the 
Palisades on the Hudson, the Obsidian Cliff 
in Yellowstone National Park, those along the 
Connecticut River, in the traps on the shores 
of Lake Superior and those walls along the 
majestic Columbia and the Deschutes River 
in Oregon. 

As to the volcanic origin of this extraordinary 
columnar structure, authorities generally agree 
that during the Tertiary Period a great out- 
pouring of basalt took place in this locality. As 
the molten lava was going through the process 
of cooling and contracting, it apparently broke 
up into regular sections of polygons in much 
the same manner as mud flats or even quanti- 
ties of starch will dry and crack up into poly- 
gonal shapes when left to the mercy of the 
sun. It has been pointed out that the composi- 
tion of the lava must have been unusually 
uniform. At the Giant's Causeway these poly- 
gons are strikingly regular and range from a 
few inches to several feet in diameter. While 
most of them are hexagonal, some of the col- 
umns are four, five and seven sided due to the 
fact that the centers of contraction were not 
always equally spaced. Both at the Giant's 
Causeway and Fingal's Cave the prismatic 
jointing of these basaltic columns has been de- 
veloped to a high degree. 

Like cordwood on end 

Another principle seemingly true of this 
particular type of prismatic structure is that 
it invariably develops at right angles to the 
plane of cooling and resembles so much cord- 
wood all stacked on end. This horizontal plane 
of cooling was not a surface layer of air but a 
thin formation of overlying rock which has 
since been removed by the agents of erosion. 

The entire area of both the Counties of 
Antrim and Londonderry are known as the 
red zone, owing to the basaltic red iron ores 
which overlie them. These ores are the direct 
result of the underlying sheets of basalt, some 
300 to 500 feet thick, the same igneous ma- 
terial out of which the Giant's Causeway was 
formed. 

"Beyond yon point," smiled Jimmie serenely, 
"lies the Spanish Bay where the giants de- 



stroyed the Spanish Armada all because the 
soldiers dared to fire on these same limestone 
cliffs thinking they were fortresses. And on 
that rocky promontory to your left you can 
see the Giant's own grandmother forever 
struggling up hill with a sack of chicken feed 
on her poor old back. However long you 
watch, she never seems to make the summit." 

In another romantic niche among the stones 
we found the Giant's wishing-well and Jim- 
mie's own white-haired buxom frau biding her 
time on the brink, ready for thirsty and super- 
stitious mortals with pitchers and cups. There 
we wished again as we slaked our thirst from 
the bubbling spring water and paid another 
sixpence as we wished. When all of these 
wishes come true, but that's another story. 

At the crown of the bluff, waited Billy, the 
bay, and Joe Fisher a-top his raggety-taggety 
Irish jaunting-car. 

"Did Billy have a good rest?" we inquired 
as we climbed in. 

"Aye," laughed Joe, "he had a nap and a 
feed of corn." 

More legend 

Bouncing back to Portrush we learned more 
about the mythical Causeway. "Long before 
the memory of man," mused Joe, as he flicked 
his whip over Billy's ears, "the Giant's Cause- 
way was created. 'Tis certain no engineer 
built it. Around the hills of Portrush we be- 
lieve it was built by an Irish giant who had a 
quarrel to settle with a Scotch giant who lived 
across St. Patrick's Channel at Fingal's Cave. 
He even challenged the Scottish giant to come 
over and fight it out and the brawny Scot said 
he would be glad to accommodate his enemy 
IF he would build a bridge, which he did. The 
same formation is to be seen out at Fingal's 
Cave on the shores of the Staffa Islands. No 
one seems to know exactly who won the 
famous bout but we Irish have our own opin- 
ion and then there's the Causeway, this end 
of the Giant's bridge." 

With this long speech Joe looked out over 
the Channel at Fingal's Cave and cracked his 
whip disdainfully. 

Joe's legend sounded almost plausible to our 
American ears. We found it easy to listen to 
these 70-year old-timers with their 30-year-old 
experience along the romantic shores of the 
Shamrock Isle, especially in the atmosphere of 
the fairies and giants of the Causeway country. 



NATURAL HISTORY, SEPTEMBER, 1 936 




Con from Eiving Galloivay 



The Giant's Causeway 



A mosaic of forty thousand polygonal columns 
of stone comprise the Giant's Causeway, on 
the northeast coast of Ireland. Except where 
the tide reaches them, the columns are silver- 
gray in color, embroidered here and there with 
tawny lichens and tiny pink flowers. 
Legend has it that the Causeway was built by 
an Irish Giant who challenged a Scottish 



Giant living across the channel at Fingal's 
Cave, daring him to come over and settle a 
quarrel. The Scot is supposed to have replied 
that he would accommodate his enemy if he 
would build a bridge- across — which he did. 
If you don't believe the story you can find 
the other end of the bridge at Fingal's Cave. 
No record revealed the quarrel's outcome 



THE GLAMOUR OF THE GIANT'S CAUSEWAY 



169 



.**. 




> 



77;e Giant's Causeway extends like a natural 
pier for some JOO yards along the coast and 
out about 500 feet into the North Channel. It 
is one of the most remarkable examples of 



prismatic basalt columns in the world. It was 
formed when a great outpouring of molten 
rock cooled and cracked into polygonal sec- 
tions, much as mud does when it dries 



The columns are strikingly regular and range 
from a few inches in diameter to several feet 




Eiving Galloway 



• •" - 



"*•£*■ 



E. M. Newman from Publishers 
Photo Service 

It is no wonder that the heavy 
blocks of stone which in places 
appear to have been put in place 
by human hands are attributed 
in legend to a giant 



(Right) A honey comb in stone: 
a level space on the Giant's 
Causeway. The majority of the 
columns are six-sided, but as 
many as nine sides are some- 
times to be seen 





Eiving Galloway 



>An unusual view shoiving the size of the 
sections that make up this volcanic wonder. 
The sides are not equal, but it is to be noted 
that the figure is symmetrical, opposite edges 
being similar (Photo: Mrs. Branson de Cou) 



Science in the Field 
and in the Laboratory 



Total Eclipse Photographed— Troph ies from In do- Ch in a 
— Swordfishing — Fall Lectures. 



Astronomer in Siberia: 
A Total Eclipse, Huge Craters 

For a brief period this summer, the sun ceased 
to shine on a part of what once was the Russian 
Empire, and astronomers who had presaged the 
event eagerly looked forward to the discovery of 
additional information regarding that body. 

Dr. Clyde Fisher, head of the Hayden Plane- 
tarium, had two objectives in mind when he sailed 
last May for the Soviet Union. His expedition 
called for motion pictures of a total eclipse, and 
an investigation into the enormous Siberian craters 
that had been gouged out of marshy ground in the 
meteoric deluge of June 30, 1908. 

A recent report from Doctor Fisher states that 
in conjunction with Harvard's expedition under 
Dr. Donald Menzel, he was able to record photo- 
graphically this solar phenomenon whose path of 
totality extended from the Mediterranean Sea to 
Greece and thence clear across Siberia and north- 
,ern Japan to the Pacific Ocean. Camera conditions 
were perfect but he has not yet seen the developed 
film. 

Doctor Fisher's efforts to attain his second ob- 
jective were crowned with no such success. Only 
a few hundred miles from Ak-bouliak, in Kazahk- 
stan, where the eclipse pictures were taken, lies 
the scene of one of the most socially calamitous, 
but scientifically important meteor showers in 
history. 

Almost exactly 28 years before the occurrence 
of the total eclipse, 200 shellhole-like craters ap- 
peared as if by magic in about 2 miles of swampy 
forest. They were left in the wake of a meteoric 
torrent that felled and unbranched trees, shattered 
peasant huts, slew whole herds of reindeer, and 
was recorded on a seismograph at Irkutsk 900 
km. away. Only one expedition, under the Russian 
professor, Kulik, has visited these giant craters, 
some of which stretch 50 yards in diameter. So 
it was but natural that Doctor Fisher was anxious 
to extend his expedition with a view to contribut- 
ing further information. He was disappointed to 

SCIENCE IN THE FIELD AND IN THE LABORATORY 



to the craters 



learn, however, that an excurs 
was impracticable at that time. 

In a late communication to Mr. Wayne Faunce, 
Vice-director of the American Museum, Doctor 
Fisher was able to give more heartening news. 
"The whole thing," he says, "may be affected— I 
am not quite sure— by the fact that the Soviet Gov- 
ernment has planned, and financed, they say, an 
expedition to these craters next year. The perma- 
nent secretary of the Academy, who is one of the 
finest two or three Russians I have met, told 
me that if I wished to accompany this expedition, 
I would be welcomed. 

'After being disappointed about the Siberian 
craters, I concluded to try to visit those on the 
Island of Saaremas (Osesel), Estonia. Estonia is 
straight west of Leningrad, and therefore is di- 
rectly on my way back to Stockholm. I shall try 
to gather material about these craters for an 
article in Natural History. I feel sure they have 
never been visited by an American— probably by 
very few scientists." D R B 

Fleischman-Clark Indo-China Expedition 

Deep in the jungles of Indo-China Dr. James L. 
Clark lolled beside bis expedition camp fire and 
listened to squadrons of elephants trumpeting in 
the spring night, as they trampled nearby grassy 
patches. 

Accompanied by Major Fleischman, he had taken 
leave from his post as head of the department of 
Arts and Preparations last February to become 
co-leader of an expedition predicated to the col- 
lecting of museum specimens ranging from mam- 
mals like the banting, a big wild ox that resembles 
a handsome Jersey bull, to frogs and lizards. 

Establishing headquarters at Saigon in March, 
the expedition headed north for a 300-mile trip 
into the jungle, ably guided by M. Defosse and 
his son Louis. 

Automobiles transported the expedition to a little 
place called Dong-Me, where a camp and field 
laboratory were set up. "Two weeks spent here re- 
sulted in a fine collection of the vividly colored 



173 



local birds, snakes, bats, and interesting lizards 
of several varieties," reports Doctor Clark. 

Often plodding 12 to 15 miles a day under a 
scorching sun, excursions set out on foot from 
Dong-Me in pursuit of the banting. Several speci- 
mens were secured, including a fine bull and cow. 
Of these, the complete skeleton of the bull, and 
both skins were preserved. Fresh tiger trails were 
seen almost daily, and elephants, plying in all 
directions, left their broad, smooth trails. Integral 
specimens of the wild pig were also taken here. 

The expedition then moved southward about 200 
miles to the Lagna River where, on the broad 
grassy plains of this great game section, specimens 
of the wild water-buffalo were hunted and secured, 
as well as the Saladange, the hog-deer, the mouse- 
deer and numerous reptiles and fishes. 

By this time bullock carts had replaced the auto- 
mobiles, and carried food and duffle over winding 
bumpy trails further into the jungle. A base camp 
was organized on the river bank among big trees 
and elephant grass, where tigers more than once 
left their spoor a scant hundred yards away. 

"Three weeks were spent in this locality build- 
ing up collections until torrential rains, the begin- 
ning of the rainy season, drove us homeward to 
save the valuable collections already secured," 
says Doctor Clark. "Sizes of specimens varied from 
the giant water-buffalo weighing three thousand 
pounds to the tiny mouse-deer which weighed but 
four pounds. This specimen, a full-grown female, 
standing hardly eight inches at the shoulders with 
tiny hooves so small that they would hardly cover 
the rubber of a lead pencil, contained a fully de- 
veloped foetus which by itself weighed almost 
half a pound. This interesting and valuable bio- 
logical specimen with its entire envelope was saved 
as a complete formaline specimen. A large male 
and female elephant skull helped swell the collec- 
tion, but no tiger, as the time necessary to secure 
this spectacular trophy would not have been justi- 
fied in scientific value. 

"In all, although the expedition spent only five 
weeks in the field, the results are most satisfactory. 
The preserved specimens were left in Saigon where 
they were packed for shipment directly to the 
American Museum." 

Birds of the Congo and "Penguin Island" 
Dr. James P. Chapin of the Department of Birds 
sailed for Belgium July 18th to continue work on 
the second volume of his "Birds of the Belgian 
Congo" at the Musee du Congo Beige in Ter- 
vueren. 

* * * 

Readers who remember Mr. Willy Ley's fas- 
cinating article "The Great Auk" (Natural His- 
tory, November, 1935), telling how this flightless 
"north-penguin" was slaughtered into extinction, 
will be interested to know that on July 20, Thomas 
Gilliard of the Department of Birds, with Samuel 
K. George, succeeded in reaching Funk Island, 
the former metropolis of the Great Auk, thirty- 
four miles off Newfoundland. The absence of safe 
anchorage made it essential for them to embark 
four hours after landing. Nevertheless, they suc- 
ceeded in collecting enough Great Auk bones to 

174 



construct at least one complete skeleton, and in 
taking a census of the other birds nesting on the 
island. 

Reconnoitering for Bisons and Antelope 

On July 7th a preliminary expedition under 
Robert McConnell accompanied by Robert Rocke- 
well of the Museum Department of Arts and 
Preparation set forth to survey the antelope herds 
roaming the Wyoming plains about 60 miles south 
of Cody. Antelopes move in scattered groups in 
summer and their pelage is poor. Therefore no 
attempts were made to take specimens. With the 
approach of winter, however, antelopes segregate 
in larger groups, are more attractively furred and 
offer a wider selection to the collector. 

After a few days in the antelope country, Mr. 
McConnell inspected the semi-wild buffalo herds 
maintained on the National Bison Range near 
Missoula, Montana, by the United States Biologi- 
cal Survey. These buffalo are permitted to retain 
their natural habits, and are protected from 
hunters. Mr. McConnell is making necessary ne- 
gotiations with the Government for permission to 
obtain specimens of this herd for a proposed 
Museum group. 

Apart from its initial objective of performing 
the requisite groundwork for a collecting expedi- 
tion this fall, Mr. McConnell's survey corps was 
aole to bring back with them several interesting 
species of birds and small mammals. 

Plans are on foot to assemble a new Antelope- 
Bison group in the Museum's North American Hall, 
from specimens taken during the expedition con- 
templated this autumn. 

Animal Life in the Rockies 

Temperatures averaged 14° below zero last 

December, when Mr. George G. Goodwin studied 

wild life on the western slopes of the Rocky 

Mountains. 

Colorado again lured the Assistant Curator of 
Mammals on June 19th, when he returned to the 
same section to continue his researches under sum- 
mer conditions. 

This project was made possible through the 
generosity of Mr. Harry Snyder of Chicago, who, 
with Mr. Goodwin, has made expeditions into 
northern and western Canada which have been 
recounted in Natural History (September, 1935, 
and May, 1936). 

Swordfishing in Nova Scotia 
Through the generosity of Mr. Michael Lerner, 
an expedition to the swordfishing grounds off Cape 
Breton, Nova Scotia, left New York on July 25th, 
under the auspices of the American Museum of 
Natural History. 

The personnel of the expedition consisted of: 
Michael Lerner, John Treadwell Nichols, Curator 
of Recent Fishes; Francesca LaMonte, Associate 
Curator of Ichthyology; Harry C. Raven, Asso- 
ciate Curator of Comparative Anatomy; Miles 
Conrad, Assisant Curator of Comparative Anatomy ; 
Ludwig Ferraglio of the Department of Prepara- 
tion and Exhibition ; and Anthony Keasbey of the 
Department of Ichthyology. 

NATURAL HISTORY, SEPTEMBER, 1 93 6 



The Nova Scotian Government placed a lar^c 
boat at the disposal of the expedition for collect- 
ing up and down the coast and adjacent islands, 
and also supplied a motion picture operator. Dur- 
ing the last part of their stay, the expedition moved 
down to Wedgeport, Nova Scotia, for the big tuna 
run off Soldier's Rip, where it collected data for 
exhibit material in the Museum. A laboratory has 
been established at Louisburg for studies of the 
anatomy, food habits, and other data on the fishes 
of the region, particularly the swordfish. 

Planetarium News 
During the month of September the lecture in 
the Hayden Planetarium will be on the subject 
TIME AND NAVIGATION, including discus- 
sion of such points as time-keeping of the ancients, 
time and space, the elementary fundamentals of 
navigation, and the sky as a time-keeper, with dis- 
cussion of the various kinds of time. During Sep- 
tember there is to be in the Planetarium an exhibit 
of ancient and fine timepieces. The watch used by 
Lincoln Ellsworth at the South Pole will also re- 
main on exhibition on the second floor of the 
building. 

During September, on clear Tuesday evenings, 
a telescope will be available outside the Plane- 
tarium after the eight and the nine o'clock lec- 
tures for Planetarium visitors. The moon, the 
planets, and various other interesting sky objects 
will be viewed at these times. 

Radio talks under the auspices of the Amateur 
Astronomers Association will continue over Sta- 
tion WHN, on Friday nights from 7:30 to 7:45. 

The regular meetings of the Amateur As- 
tronomers Association and the Junior Astronomy 
Club will commence again for the year 1936-37 
early in October. 

During September Jupiter is a bright object in 
the evening sky, setting about four hours after the 
sun. Saturn comes into the sky about sunset by the 
middle of the month and is in view all night. At 
this time it is at its maximum brightness for the 
whole year, magnitude 0.8. 

Education Notes 

During the last three weeks of July there was 
an exhibition in Education Hall of 52 water-colors 
of Panama's fruits and flowers by Mrs. Marie 
Louise Evans of Balboa Heights, Canal Zone. 

An exhibition of the work done last summer in 
activity programs by children who attended the 
summer play schools and day camps of WPA 1563, 
under the supervision of the Board of Education, 
will be on view from Sept. 21st to Oct. 15th. 

During July and August the Department of Edu- 
cation instructors accommodated about 5,000 chil- 
dren from the Play Schools of New York City. 
These youngsters were given an hour's instruction 
in the halls and an hour of motion pictures. 

On July 13th, 20th and August 3rd three groups 
of young students from Germany totaling 125, were 
conducted through the Museum by special guides. 
Every year under the auspices of the West Side 
Y. M. C. A. groups of this type have been coming 
to the United States. 



Lectures 

The American Museum of Natural History, 
through its Department of Education, will again 
offer a number of courses in cooperation with the 
colleges and universities of the city. 

Free Courses for Teachers: Methods of Teach- 
ing Geography in an Activity Program by Mrs. 
Grace Fisher Ramsey; The Museum in Elemen- 
tary Social Studies by Mrs. Ramsey; Nature Study 
fur City Teachers by Miss Farida A. Wiley. 

A new offering to teachers of New York City 
public schools is a course Craft Techniques, in- 
cluding Miniature Habitat Group Making, Finger 
Painting, and Nature and Geography Crafts. The 
brevity of the course does not permit the granting 
of alertness or college credit for the work. 

Pay courses in Astronomy, by Dr. Clyde Fisher, 
will be offered by Hunter College and New York 
University. College or university credit will be 
allowed for all these courses, as well as alertness 
credit by the Board of Education. 

The regular lecture courses for classes of public 
school children will be continued, including audi- 
torium lectures for elementary school pupils, lec- 
tures in biologic science for high school biology 
students, exhibition hall talks, sight conservation 
talks, and specially arranged lectures and demon- 
strations in the Hayden Planetarium. 

Free Saturday afternoon programs of educa- 
tional motion pictures will be given for the general 
public at two P. M., beginning September 19th. At 
four P. M. on four consecutive Saturdays, starting 
October 24th, Mr. Herbert P. Whitlock will give a 
free talk on The Appreiation of Gems, including 
jade and amber. 

Oceanic Birds of South America 
Twelve hundred copies of Dr. Robert Cushman 
Murphey's two-volume work of this title were issued, 
after which the type was destroyed. At the date of 
issue of this number of Natural History less 
than one-third of the edition remains in stock. 
In all parts of the world the work has been re- 
ceived most favorably and has been awarded 
praise by bibliophiles as an extraordinarily fine 
example of printing, illustration, and format, no 
less than by scientific men for the excellence of its 
plan and text. 

NOTE 

An error occurred in regard to the volume and 
issue number on the binding of the June 
NATURAL HISTORY. The designation should be 
volume XXXVIII, No. 1, and subscribers who 
intend to bind the magazines are notified that the 
June issue should be placed at the beginning of 
the second volume of 1936 rather than at the end 
of the first volume as the erroneous figure might 
suggest. 

Acknowledgment 

Owing to an ambiguity in the official records 
credit was not correctly given in the January 
(1936) issue of Natural History for the procur- 
ing of the young bull elephant in the Akeley group. 
Opportunity is taken at this time to state that this 
animal was collected by Mrs. Delia J. Akeley. 



SCIENCE IN THE FIELD AND IN THE LABORATORY 



175 



RECENTLY ELECTED MEMBERS 

* 



SINCE the last issue of Natural History, the 
following persons have been elected members 
of the American Museum: 

Honorary Life Member 
Mr. James Zetek. 

Life Member 
Mrs. William F. Sanford. 

Sustaining Members 
Mrs. William H. Good 

Messrs. W. K. Kellogg, Noel Robinson, F. S. 
Streever. 

Annual Members 
Mesdames Harold Amory, Grenville Clark, Jessie 
Benedict Faye, Meredith Hare, Herbert Du Puy, 
James J. Lee, O. L. Loring, Richard H. Mandel, 
Howard E. Perry, William Clement Scott, I. De 
Ver Warner, Sylvan E. Weil, Frieda B. Winner, 
Richard W. Woolworth. 

Princess Xenia of Russia. 

Misses Ethelwyn Doolittle, Elisabeth Harris, Anne 
S. Richardson, Anna L. Slater. 

Reverend John F. Ross. 

Doctors Afranio do Amaral, John V. N. Dorr, 
Frances Holden, Robert L. Levy, Madge C. L. 
McGuinness. 

Honorable James A. Fitz-gerald. 

Messrs. Joseph Adams, Malcolm P. Aldrich, 
Charles L. Allen, Elliot S. Benedict, J. L. Berston, 
Corwin Black, Elmer G. Diefenbach, Joseph L. 
Fleming, E. F. B. Fries, Alfred Henry Fried- 
man, William J. German, Alan Hazeltine, Carl 
T. Keller, Robert Meyer, George Oenslager, 
Rushmore Patterson, Stephen Peabody, Max 
Rosenwald, William H. Schroder, Lester S. 
Thompson, William Richard Townley, R. Alan 
Turner, Clark Williams, Dudley F. Wolfe. 

Associate Members 
Mesdames R. A. Arnold, Moses Ascher, Donald 
S. Barrows, Charles Bovey, Miller Brennan, 
Anna B. Claster, John Winchester Dana, Leon 
A. Dodge, Septa L. Dooley, Stella J. Ernat, 
Charles N. Felton, Leonard Freeman, Edward 
G. Gardiner, E. H. Gipson, W. T. Haines, Allen 
K. Hamilton, May D. Hausling, E. K. Hebden, 
Albert E. Heller, John Eric Hill, Geo. Hillyer, 
N. S. Hopkins, Wm. H. Hyde, Francis Nash 
Iglehart, Frederick C. Johnson, George K. 
Kaiser, Dorthy M. Kelley, Edmund Key, Jr., 
Helga Larsen, Eldon Macleod, B. F. Myers, Jean 
L. Naylor, William C. Parnell, John W. Price, Jr., 
G. W. Prior, M. G. Stewart, Walter M. Taus- 

176 



sig, J. F. Terriberry, Geo. E. Twiggar, Caroline 
M. VanBrunt, H. L. Walcutt, C. C. Walker, Wil- 
liam S. Wandel, C. Raymond Weaver, Sydney 
Webber, A. U. Whitson, Nancy L. Wolverton, 
Franz F. Ziegler, C. T. Zoebisch. 

Misses Ella Vollstidt Allen, Dorothy Arnett, Peggy 
Atlas, Mabel A. Barkley, Barbara Bassett, 
Sophie F. Baylor, Ida T. Bixby, Beatrice J. 
Brady, Lilla M. Brown, N. Margaret Campbell, 
Ellen J. Collins, Jean Crager, Marian Crocetti, 
Minna Durschnitt, Esther Gellman, Betty Hall, 
Mae Hatfield, Catherine D. Hauberg, Orpha M. 
Hayes, Ottilie Margaret Heil, Helen V. Hof- 
mann, Beatrice I'Anson, Isobel Julien, Ida K. 
Langman, Emma H. Loomis, Anna Looser, 
Veronica MacEwen, Margaret Macfarland, Ann 
McDiarmid, Julia W. Mclntrye, Maria M. 
Morrow, Dorothy Morse, Margaret L. Murphy, 
Mildred S. Narins, E. Virginia Orr, C. H. 
Ouwerkerk, Harriet T. Parsons, Inez K. Payne, 
Mae Belle Peck, Rachel Pitman, Margaret 
Rhodes, Margaret Roderwig, Helen C. Rogers, 
Alice G. Sanders, Elizabeth L. Sawyer, Anne 
Sherman, Elizabeth J. Sherrett, Jean Smith, Anna 
L. Sommer, Edna J. Sperry, Elizabeth H. Van- 
neman, Sally Welsh, E. E. Whitney, Marianne 
Wolff, Caroline R. Woolley, Vera Zeip. 

Reverends Charles Graves, William B. Hays, A. 
P. Kashevaroff, Charles E. Lillis, Harold Patti- 
son, Eliot White. 

Colonel James Perrine Barney. 

Lieut. Comdr. Walter M. Wynne. 

Major H. W. Lockett. 

Doctors Clairette P. Armstrong, Wm. H. Bickley, 
Walter H. Brattain, G. B. Capito, M. D. Cramer, 
Nathan Smith Davis 3rd, Charles Edwin Gal- 
loway, Rudolf Geigy-Heese, Aldis A. Johnson, 
Paul Klemperer, H. A. Krieger, F. W. Lee, 
J. M. Martin, Lyle G. McNeile, M. R. Newcomb, 
Hugo O. Olsen, George C. Paffenbarger, Har- 
lan Page, B. W. Rhamy, Philip Q. Roche, Heinz 
Schmid, Geo. P. Sims, Alva Sowers, Clarence 
B. Tanner, H. M. Tolleson. 

Professors George B. Barbour, A. M. Popov. 

Messrs. George F. Abderholden, Sumner Abram- 
son, H. Laurence Achilles, John G. Alioto, 
Charles W. Allen, Henry Butler Allen, Henry 
M. Allen, Sloan Allen, Oscar P. Allert, James 
Anderson, O. J. Anderson, Edward Appel, W. 
H. Austin, Malcolm B. Ayres, W. M. Bailey, 
A. H. Baku, Ezra James Barker, E. Munroe 
Bates, Herman T. Beck, Ralph L. Blaikie, 
Emanuel Blumstein, W. Boaz, Norris Myles 
Brown, Joseph Bruchac, Frank Bruen, Ben B. 
Cain, Barton Haxall Cameron, J. L. Camp, 

NATURAL HISTORY, SEPTEMBER, 1 93 6 



Donald B. Clark, A. W. Cooms, Fox B. Conner, 
Thomas B. Cornell, VV. II. Cowles, T. E. Cur- 
ran, Glenn Daun, Arnold (;. Davids, Gud- 
mundur Davidsson, George M. Demm, Robert 
A. DeWoIf, Charlemagne Tower Drew, Allan 
A. Drimie, I.. C. Elrod, Winston Biting, Paul 
Favour, Peter Foote, M. II. Forster, Ira Gar- 
funkel, S. M. Gloyd, David Gramkow, Morris 
A. Greenwald, Howard Gresmer, Eugene 
Grimaldi, Herman E, Halland Jr., Robert J. 
Hamershlag, John VV. Hammond, Frank Hankln, 
Robert M. Harris, Walter Hastings, Geo. I.. 
Havemeyer, Ken L. Henderson, B. N. Hendricks, 
F. Whitehill Hinkel, Henry Charles Hoar, Abe 
Hoffman, J. H. Howard, Ralph E. Hubbard, 
C. R. Hudson, Alfred Huse, James Jackson, 
A. K. Jenkins, E. Kenneth Jenkins, Parks Johnson, 
Peter Jordanoff, C. Fred Joy Jr., Wm. J. Kihn, 
Nandlal Kilachand, Samuel R. King, Robert 
Marvin Krassner, Alexander Kreithen, Ralph G. 
Krieger, Thomas K. Lazure, Derek Thayer Lees- 
Smith, H. Grant Leonard, Roger G. Leonard, 
Alan M. Limburg, George West Liskow, Wil- 
liam R. Lodge, Duncan Longcope, Alberto 
Martin Lynch, Jacob L. Markel, George T. 
Marsh, Ralph C. McConnell, John M. S. 
McDonald, James R. R. McEwen, John A. 



McGregor, Ployd J. Miller, W. A. Mitchell, 
J. E. Moore, Georgi S Munson, John M. 
Murray, Waller P. Muther, K.nl Erik Nasmark, 
Herberl L. Nichols Jr.. T. II. O'Brien, I 
Ospina-Racines, Watson Parker, LeRoj VV 
Parsons, Southwick Phelps, Edwin I. Phillips, 
I- red J. Pierce, Walter G. Pomering, Kennetl I. 
Poner, Fred J. Raffelson, Homer F. Rensch, Lee 
W. Reynolds, Royal P. Richardson, F. H. River-. 
W. B. Roberts, P. II Robertson, Edmund B. 
Rogers, Morrison Rogers, George Bowyer Ross- 
bach, F. A. Schaff, F. S. Selby, David Rives 
Sigourney, Elihu A. Silver, E. I Simonek, Berry 
Cushing Smith, Earl E. Smith, Lee Smii-. Allien 
II. Sonn, E. B. Sprague, Guj II. Stanton, Theo, 
E. Stebbins, Henrj II. Stickney, Otto Stoll, John 
H. Storer, Hans Kis Studphil, Irving Stutt 
Richard C. Sullivan, John A. Suiro, (;. Arthur 
Swan, C. G. Teitsch, Ben II. Thompson, II. K. 
Turner, George II. P. Van Alst, Bernard Van 
Ingen Jr., Walker Van Riper, J. Varley, Howard 
II. Warner Jr., Wm. II. Welsh, Harr) Sylvester 
Wender, Fred G. Whaler, George W. Wheel- 
wright, Lawrence Whitcomb, Charles L. Wil- 
liams, Murphy M. Williams, Win. W. Wood, 
J. H. Woods Jr., W. D. Craig Wright, Christian 
C. Zillman Jr. 



Frank Richard Oastler 



HUNDREDS of men and women in this city 
and throughout America are mourning the 
passing of Dr. Frank Richard Oastler. A grandson 
of Sir Daniel MacNee, one time President of the 
Royal Academy of Edinboro and a great grandson 
of Sir Richard Oastler, he achieved distinction as a 
physician and surgeon and for many years was chief 
surgeon of the Lenox Hill Hospital and professor 
of surgery in the College of Physicians and Sur- 
geons of Columbia University. Men and women in 
all works of life will long remember his pro- 
fessional skill and they will treasure equally his 
great spiritual qualities which led him to a sym- 
pathetic understanding of the serious problems of 
their personal lives. When he had given to his 
patients from the best of his medical knowledge 
and experience he still had much in reserve for 
them. Not unlike the Great Healer, he sustained 
those who depended upon him by the very essence 
of his own spiritual life. No one ever left his 
counsels without a stronger faith in themselves, a 
better hope for the future and a firmer belief in 
the goodness of life. 

Unless one knew of the personal life of Doctor 
Oastler he might well wonder at the man's in- 
credible vigor, his boundless optimism and his 
astonishing youth. When still a young man and 
realizing the need for a balance to offset the rigors 
of his professional life, he sought and found re- 
freshment for his mind and body and sanctuary 
for his soul in the wildest and most beautiful 
mountains of the West. Each summer for more 



than a quarter of a century he spent three or four 
months traveling by pack train along the great 
rivers, over the flower-filled alp-lands and across 
the great glaciers and high passes of the American 
and Canadian Rockies. In the course of time he 
and his wilderness-loving wife came to know al- 
most every peaceful valley, deep canyon and 
rugged peak along the Great Divide between the 
Colorado and the Yukon. All these natural beauties 
of landscape and the wild creatures of the rocks 
and the forests he photographed and he became 
a master of the photographic art. The rare trum- 
peter swan at nesting time along the shallows of 
some mountain lake; the big horn sheep in his 
high fortress among the cliffs; the beaver busy in 
the construction of his river home; the woodland 
caribou, the moose, the elk, ranging amid dark 
forests of spruce and balsam — all these and a host 
of lesser creatures became his friends. Thousands 
of feet of film and colored slides of wild life and 
virgin country were his dearest treasures — and 
even more, the memory of the wilderness which 
they recalled. Using his film and slides in his lec- 
tures for charity, he raised large sums for the al- 
leviation of human suffering. 

Ardently opposed to the hunting and killing of 
animals for sport, he fathered the conservation of 
the wilds and was primarily responsible for the crea- 
tion of several of our National Parks. This great 
nature lover "lifted up his eyes unto the hills" and 
drank deep of their streams of inspiration. 

— Mary L. Jobe Akeley 



RECENTLY ELECTED MEMBERS 



177 



Your New Books b y t>. r. Barton 

Men of Science — Island Lore — Jungle Nights — The 
Sky — A Lonesome Drum 



T, 



RAIL BLAZERS OF SCIENCE 

----- by Martin Gumpert 

Funk & Wagnalls, $2.50 

"In the service of nascent truth . . . 
Men die, are executed, tortured . . . 
But the Idea is immortal." 

't'TpRAIL Blazers of Science" is a magnificent 
A tribute to the tenacity of the human organism 
in the face of every conceivable physical torture 
and spiritual mortification. It first appeared in 
Germany under the title of "Das Leben Fur Die 
Idee." Mr. Edwin Schuman has given a faithful 
and gifted translation whose sensational title may 
be defended on the grounds that the book's message 
will reach a larger audience. 

With the following words the author epitomizes 
the great, sad, Leitmotif that recurs with Wag- 
nerian solemnity throughout the pages of his book: 

"The world allows itself to be converted to its 
true forward steps only reluctantly. Animals take 
fright suddenly and become accustomed slowly. 
Mischief has another, quicker dynamic than bene- 
faction. The good deed lacks the moment of terror 
with which the evil deed paralyzes the understand- 
ing and enthralls the heart. Out of this difference 
is born the world's unrighteousness." 

It is a sickening tragedy of human existence, that 
the men whose brains propel the very lifestream 
of our civilization, must, in the name of precedent, 
be bodily and spiritually crucified by blundering 
contemporaries. The author's task is to tell of the 
lives of certain heroes of world and scientific his- 
tory in such a way that they become the protago- 
nists of progress in "the bitter warfare between 
myth and knowledge." Laity will be unfamiliar 
with many of their names — but the task is admir- 
ably fulfilled. Doctor Gumpert is articulate to the 
point of artistry, as well as being a sound scholar 
and an able scientist. 

The heroes are grouped according to the cen- 
turies in which they lived. Starting with the 16th, 



there are Cardan, Vesalius and Servetus, all more 
or less brutally victimized by religious intolerance. 

In the 17th Copernicus and Kepler investigate 
the heavens, and Swammerdam, the world of in- 
sects. The dawn of man's evolution is discovered 
by Wolff and LaMark in the 18th. Robert Mayer 
is confined in an asylum for the insane because he 
published the law of the conservation of energy; 
Jackson and Morton fight bitterly for the credit of 
discovering ether anesthesia, and Von Pettenkofer 
lays the foundations of modern hygiene, in the 19th. 

Despite Dr. Harvey Cushing's incontestable bril- 
liance, and the great benefits his work has un- 
doubtedly bestowed on mankind, your reviewer de- 
plores the author's selection of him as the hero of 
the 20th century. This great brain surgeon does not 
seem to be the rightful heir to the crown of pain 
that passed inexorably from one to the other of the 
preceding heroes. Doctor Cushing saw little of the 
bitter opposition, and downright oppression of his 
illustrious forebears. True, he was scoffed at — but 
he was not expatriated, strait-jacketed, or burned 
at the stake. Encouraging though this may seem, 
it lends a note of false security to the facility of 
progress in our own times. 

For, all too often, dark forewarnings of a grow- 
ing reaction against intellectual achievement are 
filtering into current news reports. Organizations 
at Doctor Gumpert's doorstep are carrying out pro- 
grams of religious persecution which have dis- 
criminated against some of the world's most en- 
lightened minds. 

No. The human race has not yet learned to de- 
tect its benefactors. Mischief has still "another, 
quicker dynamic" — and all is not well. 

You feel somehow, that the 20th century held out 
a challenge to Doctor Gumpert, before which he 
faltered. It is not denied that the difficulties of fact- 
gathering would be enormous and the risks, tre- 
mendous. Then, too, he would probably suffer the 
very indignities and griefs he so righteously la- 
ments in the lives of his heroes. There would be a 
curious justice in that — but one, Doctor Gumpert 
does not wish to contend or explore. Because of 
this, his life will be, perhaps, simpler and happier 
— his book, truly brilliant — not truly great. 



178 



NATURAL HISTORY, SEPTEMBER, 1 93 6 



T 



HROUCH THE TELESCOPE 

by Edward A. Fath 

McGraw-Hill Book Co., Inc., $2.75 



"VTO doubt there are many admirable books for 
-^ ^ the beginner in Astronomy, and for those 
whose interest is merely casual. But this is cer- 
tainly one of them. 

Since Edward A. Fath, who is professor of as- 
tronomy in Carleton College, is the author also of 
an excellent textbook of astronomy — a standard, 
somewhat technical work — his credentials are in 
order. 

Thruugli the Telescope, however, is anything but 
technical. It is eminently for the layman. Professor 
Fath points out that he wished to include no more 
than could be read in one evening by a reasonably 
rapid reader. In this he has succeeded, for his 
style allows of swift and pleasant reading. It is 
friendly and easy, though never careless; light, 
almost breezy. One finds a minimum of "science" 
and a maximum of what is curious, and essential, 
and human in astronomy. 

The book is amply illustrated with well chosen 
drawings and photographs. 

The reader is taken, in imagination, on a jour- 
ney to two great observatories, the Lick and Mt. 
Wilson. Through the giant telescopes there he 
makes his acquaintance, evening after evening, 
with one celestial character after another — a novel 
way of making first contact with the sky, and a 
good one. 

The writer points out later, in speaking of a 
minor planet, "It would be impossible to have a 
baseball game on the asteroid, for every long hit 
would drive the ball off the asteroid altogether. 
The ball would never return but would swing 
around in space as a separate minute planet in an 
orbit around the sun." 

Significantly, Professor Fath sub-titles his book, 
"A Story of Astronomy." It does not pretend to 
be the complete story of astronomy. Many such 
stories must be written before the tale would be 
fully told. But as a story it is heartily recom- 
mended. — Arthur Draper 

(jREEN LAURELS 

.......by Donald Culcross Peattie 

Simon and Schuster, $3.75 

"The living world as you came to it with the 
ardor of first love." 

THAT lush style of Mr. Peattie's, so fragrant, 
so plump with adjectives, will whip city-dulled 
sensibilities to a tingling new awareness of Nature, 
will open the eyes of the young novice, will strike 
tremulous chords of emotional recognition in the 
sensitive soul. 

Skeletally, "Green Laurels" is a mere collection 
of biographies. But the body of the book, the cen- 
tral theme, is "man's mind as it is concerned with 
Nature." 



Mr, Peattie begins with the Medieval herbalists 
— and their first tiny emergence from the dusty 
gloom of ever-reiterated Aristotle. The progress 
of Malpighi, Swammerdarn and Leeuwcnhoeck is 
deftly traced. Then on to the decadent court in- 
trigues of the pouting Pompadour, and the part 
she played in the lamentable feud between Buffon 
and Reaumur. 

He tells how the green world unfolded under 
the nordic eyes of Linneaeut; how LaMarck lived, 
learned, and died, and of Cuvier's opposition to 
him. 

Swiftly, then, the book turns to that vast labora- 
tory of the Naturalist — the New World. How 
Michaux and Bartram, the wilderness plantsmcn, 
fared therein, and how Wilson and Audubon 
studied and sketched under harsh difficulties. 

Comes the bizarre career of Rafinesque, and that 
of the hopelessly impractical Thomas Say. 

Back in Europe, he toys amusedly with the "rose- 
water teleology" of Goethe and the Romanticists. 
Thence to Darwin, and Wallace and the familiar 
tale of the world's reception of the evolutionary 
theory. 

Jean Henri Fabre is his last figure. Lovingly the 
author extols the courage and fortitude displayed 
by the naive, little Frenchman in his devotion to 
the cause, amid the most depressing domestic 
heartbreak. 

That its author discloses nothing the practising 
Naturalist could add to his store of information is 
not to be deplored. It is enough that the book 
should stimulate an interest in those spiritual re- 
wards to be won by intelligent contemplation of 
plant, bird, and animal life in all its infinite va- 
riety. Science must have its popular apostles. And 
Mr. Peattie might perhaps be styled as ace "con- 
tact man" for botany and ornithology. 



H 



ARPOONER 



by Robert Ferguson 



L T niv. of Pennsylvania Press, $2.50 

"Large oyster shells as big as wheelbarrows" 

SIMPLICITY with the ring of truth fills the 
pages of this whaler's diary making of it a 
vital document on a now vanished way of life. 

Mr. Leslie Dalrymple Stair's editing is to be 
commended for its admirable restraint in preserv- 
ing intact the impressions and activities of Robert 
Ferguson as they were actually recorded during 
his voyage on the ship Kathleen from 1880 to 1884. 

A python's gaping jaws, the horror of an Arab 
slave market, brawls on shore and at sea — all 
these and much more he describes in addition to 
the authentic technique of his precarious profession. 

Almost automatically, one calls to mind Richard 
Henry Dana's "Two Years Before the Mast." But 
Ferguson is no Harvard man (his formal educa- 
tion ended at the age of 9) and his prose is as free 
of the polished rhetoric of that classic as it is of 
the mysticism of Melville. 

It is curious indeed, that this simple, God-fearing 
seaman should achieve fine literary effects by a 



YOUR NEW BOOKS 



179 



style whose verbal economy so markedly resembles 
the studied medium of certain noted writers of 
our own day. 

An ODYSSEY OF THE ISLANDS" 

by Carl N. Taylor 

Scribner's, $3.00 

"No sounds . . . save the splash of fish or 
crocodiles, the sucking of stealthily moving 
feet in the mud, and an occasional cry of some 
raucous, night-flying bird." 

MR. TAYLOR gave up a job in the university 
of the Phillipines at Manila with the idea of 
devoting a month to arduous travel through the 
islands lying beyond the scope of the white man's 
civilization. His odyssey lasted more than a year. 

At once a story of high adventure and an un- 
flattering commentary on the arbitrary attempts to 
superimpose one culture upon another, it is nar- 
rated with surpassing skill and a certain masculine 
charm. 

Readers who prefer their explorations untainted 
by sensationalism will not be disappointed in the 
author's treatment. He was determined to write 
an utterly honest report of human life as it exists 
in the little-visited sections of the Phillipine archi- 
pelago, and, undaunted by danger, hardships or 
fever, has achieved a well-deserved success. 

Starting from the southernmost end of the islands, 
his odyssey took him, by devious out-of-the-way 
paths, to the extremities of Luzon in the northeast. 
In its course, he joined in the almost Neanderthal 
hunts of the pygmy Negritoes, was "cured" of 
dysentery by the weird contortions of a Sea-Gypsy 
Medicine Man, sought gold in the domains of 
chronic head-hunters, and most impressive of all, 
saw minor civilizations, drifting, before his very 
eyes, toward inevitable extinction. 

His camera was always with him, and the abun- 
dant original photographs are worthy companions 
of the text. 

Mr. Taylor has few panegyrics for the civiliz- 
ing processes contrived either by the Spanish or the 
United States governments. He says, at one point, 
"I was trying to think of some blessing that the 
Government had bestowed upon these people who 
had gotten along and prospered for forty centuries 
by their own efforts." He ridicules the absurdity 
of teaching children of the indomitable Morro 
outlaws to reverence "a pale little boy with a 
hatchet ... who was not ingenious enough to tell 
a necessary lie, a trait of character foreign to the 
oriental nature, which not even their Christian 
teacher can understand." 

The author is not a confirmed opponent of every 
well-intentioned, albeit clumsy, effort of the Philli- 
pine administration to "improve" the natives. His 
is simply a plea for a truly enlightened program. 
It is a curious justice that permitted the author, in 
a sense the patron of subject peoples, to die last 
February, by the hand of his houseboy, while at 
work on an investigation into the rites of the 
Penitentes in New Mexico. 



How TO USE YOUR MINIATURE 

CAMERA by Ivan Dmitri 

The Studio Publications, N. Y. 

TO the person contemplating the purchase of a 
Leica miniature camera, or to the recent owner 
of the same instrument this book makes a valuable 
starting point. The opening pages are devoted to 
a minute discussion of the mechanical operation of 
the Leica. The instructions go so far into the tak- 
ing of pictures as to show the effect of each of the 
various lenses obtainable. 

Perhaps the most valuable part of the book lies 
in the second part that contains the illustrations. 
It is here that the beginner starts to appreciate the 
field of the miniature camera in catching "life on 
the wing." The unposed "candid" photographs of 
animals and babies as well as unusual speed shots 
of performers on the stage display the wide variety 
of subject matter open to the miniature camera 
enthusiast. Exposure data and information of in- 
terest about unusual conditions under which the 
picture was made are given for each picture so as 
to help improve the judgment of the miniature 
camera user when confronted with a difficult 
subject. —Charles H. Coles 



D 



ESOLATE MARCHES by L. M. Nesbitt 



Harcourt Brace, $2.50 

". . . read the tale in my ragged clothing and 
bleeding hands and my unquenchable thirst." 

PESTILENTIAL flies that lay sight-destroying 
eggs in the corner of the human eye, myriad 
ticks that bore and feed in the skin, vampires that 
suck the blood of sleeping victims, these and many 
other spawn of the Venezuelan jungle make "Deso- 
late Marches" a well-named book. 

An untimely Alpine death has cut short the 
promising career of its author, L. M. Nesbitt, engi- 
neer, traveler, adventurer — and above all a writer 
so gifted as to merit comparison with W. H. Hud- 
son. No more, will he plod, stricken with fever and 
dysentery, behind the swinging machetes of his 
trail-breakers. He has surveyed his last wilderness, 
written his last book, and a noble mind has passed 
from among us. 

"Desolate Marches" is a worthy legacy. 

Frankly autobiographical, it is the story of his 
surveying expedition in the region of the Orinoco 
basin. On this framework is woven an unforgetable 
display of the frightful squalor and degeneracy 
of the natives, together with a few vagrant whites, 
who, forsaken by their own civilization, sink like- 
wise to the brute level, crushed by the invincible 
jungle. 

The prevailing grimness is, however, not unre- 
lieved. Here and there he comes upon an amusing 
or admirable being — and his descriptions of the 
natural surroundings are eminently beautiful. He 
makes pets of many of the animals and birds, and 
despite his sufferings and discomforts, expresses, 
at the end, a genuine regret to leave the verdant 
wasteland that held so great a fascination for him. 



ISO 



NATURAL HISTORY, SEPTEMBER, I936 



c 



HILE: LAND AND SOCIETY 

- by George McCutchen McBride 

American Geographical Society, $4.00 

"... a New World Country with the social 
organization of old Spain; a joiIi century peo- 
ple still preserving a feudal society . . ." 

MR. McBRlDF'S impressively documented yel 
readable volume is an impartial and scholarly 
analysis of the vast social problems facing the 
Chile of today. 

Chile has its grandees — hacendados they are 
called, most of whom trace their ancestry back to 
the original holders of the encomiendas (land 
grants from the crown during the colonization 
period). So deeply entrenched is their hereditary 
position of ownership, that a Chilean authority 
has declared: "In Chile there exists a greater 
monopolization of the agricultural land than in 
any other country of the world." 

The soldier forefathers of the hacendados 
wrested the country from the Indians, settled on 
large royal grants, and remorselessly forced the 
conquered people into vassalage. So began this 
long dynasty of overlords. Indeed one may describe 
Chile's history as the history of its hacienda. 

Each hacienda is a remarkably self-sufficient 
unit. It has its own blacksmith, wet nurse, seam- 
stress or veterinary, and its store sells tobacco and 
light wines to the laborers. The latter have often 
lived all their lives on the hacienda, as had their 
fathers before them. They are between 75-90% 
illiterate and until this generation it has not been 
attempted to make them otherwise. All opportunities 
for education and culture are open only to the 
hacendado and his family. 

At the outset of the twentieth century this two- 
class system of "Master and Man" began to dis- 
integrate. Periodic need for workers in the mines 
and nitrate fields, and other causes created a class 
of nomad laborers, who go about the country sell- 
ing their labor power. A third estate of small 
farmers, and a few isolated, collectively owned 
communities arose. Lastly, due to increased exports, 
room for industrial labor was effected. 

It thus became increasingly apparent that the 
hacienda system had outlived its usefulness. 

Mr. McBride traces the stormy history of Chile's 
politics; shows how in every crisis, the hacendados' 
interests gave ground only grudgingly — and con- 
cludes that there is a very real danger of their 
losing all their lands, if they do not consent to the 
equitable redistribution of part of them. 

The book is by no means exclusively a com- 
pendium of the economic history of Chile. Its au- 
thor writes admirably of the people themselves, 
of his personal contacts with them and their work. 
He tells of the land they live in; its sprawling 
mountain ranges, teeming forests, and varied cli- 
mate. He supports his text with a large number of 
interesting photographs and maps, that enable the 
reader to gain a vivid picture of a turbulent and 
colorful nation. 



H 



OW ANIMALS DEVELOP 

-------- by C. H. Waddingtoii 

Norton, $2.00 

CJT ERETOFORE, th< embryologisl hat concerned 
*■ -*■ himself with the problem of observing and 
recording with descriptive accuracj each pi 1 
embryonic growth and differentiation. Mr. Wad- 
dingtoii center- hi- discussion in the a- yet unsolve ' 
problem of what makes animal tissues develop 
and integrate as they do. 
The most striking discovery brought to the 

reader's attention i- that ot the apparent existence 
of one or more "organization centre-" within the 
tissues, determining the character of the specialized 
organs which become differentiated in the indi- 
vidual. Mr. Waddington cite- as an example that 
when frog'- skin is grafted experimental!} into tl e 
mouth of a newt, it becomes induced to form a 
mouth, apparently due to the presence of an 
"organizer" determining the nature ot the organ 
demanded in that area; but the skin, having come 
from a frog, is only competent to form a frog- 
mouth, which it therefore forms in place of the 
totally different mouth of the newt. 

Such discoveries as this suggest the complexity 
of interaction in living tissue- and the difficulty ot 
discovering completely the causes underlying em- 
bryonic development. Mr. Waddington is optimistic 
in his view of experimental embryology, and his 
book How Animals Develop looks forward to fu- 
ture clarification of the field. 



w 



ITH PLANE, BOAT, AND CAMERA 
N GREENLAND- - by Dr. Ernst Sorge 

Appleton Century, $5.00 



"Loneliness makes a man reflective ; hardship 
sharpens his insight; suffering steels his will 
to conquer; these things educate him to full 
manhood." 

' I V HIS book is a description of the German expe- 
-*■ dition to Greenland in 1932, which had the dou- 
ble purpose of: (1) filming the fiords as background 
for two motion pictures, "S O S Iceberg" and a 
comedy; and (2) the scientific examination of the 
fiords and glaciers. 

Sinclair Lewis has somewhere lampooned a 
travel book with the description "trickles of mint- 
flavored text around large raw hunks of illustra- 
tion." Apart from some thoroughly interesting 
observations on, and experiments with, Greenland's 
glacial deposits, Doctor Sorge's prose and photog- 
raphy produce the reverse effect. The many cool- 
ing photographic inserts (which might be called 
mint-flavored) are most remarkable for their de- 
piction of glacial phenomena, particularly the 
"calving" of the Rink Glacier. 

Doctor Sorge made three trips to this glacier. 
The first time he lost his collapsible boat and was 
stranded. But, with spartan calm and courage, he 



YOUR NEW BOOKS 



ISI 



faced eight days of privation and hand to hand 
grappling with the frozen wilderness aided only, 
mind you, by a gasoline stove, a thermos bottle, a 
waterproof sleeping bag, canned milk, pea soup, 
corned beef, pumpernickel, butter, blutwurst and 
coffee. And was finally located, fed, and rescued 
by an airplane. "It is odd," he remarks, "how 
soon a man can accommodate himself to a situa- 
tion when there is nothing to be done about it, par- 
ticularly when he is strong and fit." 

The book contains very readable accounts of 
Eskimo life, splendid descriptions of the landscape, 
and is rich in highly informative material on the 
glaciers. 

Indeed the descriptions and documentation of the 
book are important contributions. One only wishes 
that the Herr Doktor had not seen fit to justify 
almost every activity of the expedition, from the 
importation of zoo-reared polar bears for photo- 
graphic purposes to the needless icy plunges of 
actress Riefenstahl, on the basis of his chest-thump- 
ing Prussian ideology. 



Listen for a lonesome drum 

- by Carl Carmer 

Farrar & Rinehart, Inc., $3.00 

ANCIENT Seneca ritual, performed within sight 
of the glowing sky above the countless elec- 
tric lights of Buffalo; glimpses of spiritual^ life 
one hundred miles from Manhattan where religion 
is not a narcotic, but a stimulant, an aphrodisiac; 
Red Men without faith in seemingly benevolent 
government legislature; White Men renouncing 
the federal constitution on the grounds that it no- 
where mentions God; under-graduates handling 
game cocks; spiritualist mediums, the descendants 
of Noyes' communist stirpiculture ; — all these Carl 
Carmer has found in New York, Empire State of 
the union. 

He says, "Here men, wondering at words spoken 
from the bodiless air, listening for a lonesome 
drum, have sent their minds beyond the realm of 
experience, where, like eager hawks, they have 
seized on shining prey and brought it triumphantly 
to earth. Let theologians and philosophers weigh 
the trophies. It is enough for some of us to know 
the hunters and to hear the tales of the hunting." 
That, it seems to your reviewer, is the fault with 
this book. Mr. Carmer seems to accept it as fact 
that the people of whom he writes, are such as 
they are, through causes too tenuous and fragile 
for the categories of science. 

He has given us an unbiased, searching account 
of human existence throughout upper New^ York 
State. He has set down its folkways with painstak- 
ing accuracy, mimicked the various speech idioms, 
learned the songs, jokes, and legends of each 
locality; in short, done a beautiful and vigorous 
job of reporting. But these up-staters are for the 
most part, ignorant, backward people. The resi- 
dents of the Bristol hills, the Chenango people, and 
the sundry "cracker box" characters that abound 
in the book— present the picture of a culture that 
has fallen deplorably short of its potentialities. 



Frontier days and ways 
and this would seem, in 
largest, most technically 
the world, quite as much 
America, as a eulogy of 
living. 

"Listen for a Lonesome 
sis is an excellent and 
ment, artfully written by 
self but sparingly. 



are remarkably alive — 
a state that boasts the 
advanced metropolis in 
a chiding commentary on 
its multifarious modes of 

Drum" in the final analy- 
honest sociological docu- 
a man who> reveals him- 



H 



..GH TRAILS OF GLACIER NA- 
TIONAL PARK by Margaret Thompson 

The Caxton Printers, Ltd., $3.00 

BOUND by hand, beautifully illustrated and 
written, this book is a refreshing example of 
individual craftsmanship. 

Smoothly, with the effortless appeal of a good 
writer who knows her subject, Miss Thompson re- 
veals the panorama of grandeur that is Glacier 
National Park, touching upon the history of its 
development, its people, and the wild life that 
abounds within its borders. 

She makes a singularly well documented plea 
for a more enlightened treatment of the American 
Indian. She shows how, in an astoundingly short 
period of time, these tribes were reduced from a 
virile, independent people to a burden on the public 
dole. Since they are citizens, why, she contends, 
could they not benefit by legislation at least as 
progressive as that enjoyed by their conquerors? 

Miss Thompson's book will appeal to any one 
interested in nature. The sportsman, the geologist, 
the artist and the anthropologist— all will find 
moments of delight in her pages. 



T 



HE CONQUEST OF YUCATAN 

by Frans Blom 

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"THE history of the greatest civilization of ancient 
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existed before the coming of Spain, armed with 
cross and sword. 



Geography, an introduction 
to human ecology 

by C. L. White & G. T. Renner 

D. Appleton-Century, $4.00 

A THOROUGHLY readable work in which the 
author lifts geography out of the realm of factual 
compilation, and applies to social geography the 
succession concept introduced into botanical ecology 
by Cowles. 

NATURAL HISTORY, SEPTEMBER, 1 936 



D 



OCS, CATS AND MONKEYS 

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A COMPREHENSIVE treatise, comprising a bib- 
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the developments in the field of comparative psy- 
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IRDS IN THE WILDERNESS 

by George .M. Sutton 

MacMillan, $3.50 

DO( 1 OR SI [TON Curator of Birds at Cor- 
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of his adventures with birds in the field, in a popu- 
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EXPLORATIONS AND FIELD-WORK 
OF THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITU- 
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- - - Smithsonian Institution, 

Washington, D. C. 

A FREE pamphlet covering the work of the insti- 
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REES OF THE GRAND CANYON NA- 
TIONAL PARK by N. N. Dodge 

Grand Canyon Natural History Association, $0.50 

ONE of the Association's interesting series of book- 
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A 



NIMAL MICROLOGYby M. F. Guyer 

University of Chicago, $2.50 

FOR thirty years this book, in its various edi- 
tions has been the standard guide in both American 
and foreign laboratories for all zoology students 
interested in microscopic technique. 



RINCIPLES 
CHOLOGY - - 



OF ANIMAL PSY- 
- - by Maier & Schneirla 



McGraw-Hill, $4.00 

AN exhaustive textbook on the behavior of the 
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OTUDIES OF THE YAQUI INDIANS 
OF SONORA, MEXICO 

----- by Holden and Others 

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A POPULARLY written group of reports on the 
interesting aspects of the life of this tribe. 



Camera trails through the 
southwest 

- - - - by W. J. & Hannah M. Shannon 

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volume. 



OlNKYONE NOTES- - by G. A. Nomland 

University of California Press, $0.35 

A KEEN and well-presented survey of these 
primitive California people. 



T 



OURING SOUTH AMERICA 

----- A Diary by Eric P. Quain 
G. P. Putnam's Sons, $2.00 



YOUR NEW BOOKS 



183 



Recent Museum Publications 
NOVITATES 
No. 848. Census of Paleocene Mammals. By George 

Gaylord Simpson. 
No. 849. Additions to the Puerco Fauna, Lower 
Paleocene. By George Gaylord Simpson. 
No. 850. Nearctic Spiders of the Genus Cicurina 

Menge. By Harriet Exline. 
No. 851. Diagnoses of New Southern Spiders. By 

W. J. Gertsch and S. Mulaik. 
No 852. Further Diagnoses of New American 

Spiders. By W. J. Gertsch. 
No. 853. Further Records and Descriptions of North 
American Gnaphosidae. By Ralph V. 
Chamberlin. 
No. 854. Tertiary Deer Discovered by The Ameri- 
can Museum Asiatic Expeditions. By 
Edwin H. Colbert. 
No. 855. Some African Anthidiine Bees. By T. D. 

A. Cockerell. 
No. 856. African Bees of the Genus Colletcs. By 

T. D. A. Cockerell. 
No. 857. African Bees of the Genus Nomioidcs. By 

T. D. A. Cockerell. 
No 860. Studies of Peruvian Birds. XIX. Notes on 
the Genera Geositta, Furnarius, Phleo- 
cryptcs, Certhiaxis, Craniolcuca, and 
Asthenes. By John T. Zimmer. 
No. 861. Studies of Peruvian Birds. XX. Notes on 
the Genus Synallaxis. By John T. Zim- 
mer. 
No. 862. Studies of Peruvian Birds. XXI. Notes on 
the Genera Pseudocolaptes, Hyloctistcs, 
Hylocryptus, Thripadectes, and Xenops. 
By John T. Zimmer. 
No. 863. New Spiders from Texas. By W. J. 

Gertsch and S. Mulaik. 
No. 864. Some African Bees. By T. D. A. Cockerell. 
No. 865. Two New Rodents from the Miocene of 

Mongolia. By Albert Elmer Wood. 
No. 866. Geomyid Rodents from the Middle Ter- 
tiary. By Albert Elmer Wood. 
No. 867. New North American Microlepidoptera. 

By Alexander B. Klots. 
No. 868. Results of the Archbold Expeditions. No. 

10. Two New Subspecies of Birds from 
New Guinea. By Ernst Mayr and A. L. 
Rand. 

No. 869. New Subspecies of Birds from the New 

Guinea Region. By Ernst Mayr. 
No. 870. A Study of the Ostracoda Fauna of the 

Waldron Shale, Flat Rock Creek, St. 

Paul, Indiana. By H* N. Coryell and 

Marjorie Williamson. 
No. 871. Comparative Anatomy of the Sole of the 

Foot. By H. C. Raven. 
No. 872. Results of the Archbold Expeditions. No. 

11. Meliphaga analoga and its Allies. 
By A. L. Rand. 

No. 873. A New Fauna from the Fort Union of 

Montana. By George Gaylord Simpson. 
No. 874. Palaeotragus in the Tung Gur Formation 

of Mongolia. By Edwin H. Colbert. 
No. 875. Some North American Osmiinae (Hyme- 

noptera, Apoidea). By Charles D. 

Michener. 



No. 876. Some Western Anthophorid and Nomiine 

Bees. By Charles D. Michener. 

2 June, 1936 

BULLETIN 

Vol. LXXI— The American Land and Fresh-Water 

Isopod Crustacea. By Willard G. Van 

Name. 




A New Magazine 

THE JUNIOR NATURAL HISTORY 

Published monthly by The American Museum 
of Natural History 

Fascinating pictures and articles 
about animals and people that 
will delight children of all ages. 

$1.00 the year 

Address subscriptions to Membership Dept., 
The American Museum, 77th Street and Cen- 
tral Park West, New York, New York 



TO MUSEUMS AND 
PRIVATE COLLECTORS 

W. F. H. ROSENBERG, Naturalist 

91 and 94, WHITCHURCH LANE, EDGWARE, 

(MDDX.), ENGLAND 

(late of 57 Haverstock Hill) 

Has for disposal at moderate prices, large col- 
lections of Bird Skins, Lepidoptera of the 
world, and other zoological specimens. 

Price Lists gratis and post free. (Correspon- 
dents are requested to state the subject in which 
they are interested.) 



NATURAL HISTORY, SEPTEMBER, 1 936 



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THE AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY 

FOUNDED IN 1869 



J. P. Morgan, First Vice-President 
Cleveland E. Dodge, Second Vice-Preside 
E. Roland Harriman, Treasurer 
Clarence L. Hay, Secretary 
George F. Baker 
George T. Bowdoin 
Douglas Burden 
Suydam Cutting 
Lincoln Ellsworth 



BOARD OF TRUSTEES 

Frederick Trubee Davison, President 

Childs Frick 
Madison Grant 
Chauncey J. Hamlin 
Archer M. Huntington 
Ogden L. Mills 
Junius Spencer Morgan 
A. Perry Osborn 
Frederick H. Osborn 
Daniel E. Pomeroy 
H. Rivington Pyne 



A. Hamilton Rice 
John D. Rockefeller, 3d. 
Kermit Roosevelt 
Henry W. Sage 
Leonard C Sanford 
William K. Vanderbilt 
Arthur S. Vernay 
Frederick M. Warburg 
Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitne 



Fiorello H. LaGuardia, Mayor of the City of New York 

Frank J Taylor, Comptroller of the City of New York 

Robert Moses, Commissioner of Parks of the City of New York 



ADMINISTRATIVE AND SCIENTIFIC STAFFS 

OFFICERS OF ADMINISTRATION 

George H. Sherwood, Honorary Director 

Roy Chapman Andrews, Director 

Wayne M Faunce, Vice-Director and Executive Secretary 



Frederick H. Smyth, Bursar 
Francis Bushell, Assistant Bursar 
Rex P. Johnson, General Superintendent 
Charles C. Groff, Mechanical Superintendent 



Charles E. Banks, Power Plant Engineer 
J. B. Foulke, Custodian 

Charles J. O'Connor, Membership Supervisor 
Richard H. Cooke, Business Manager, Hayden 1 



Hans Christian Adamson, Assistant to the President 



SCIENTIFIC STAFF 

Roy Chapman Andrews, Sc.D., Director 

Wayne M. Faunce, Sc.B., Vice-Director and Executive Secretary 

Clark Wissler, Ph.D.,LL.D., Dean of the Scientific Staff 

H E Anthony, D.Sc, Secretary of the Council of Heads of the Scientific Departments 



Astronomy and the Hayden Planetarium 

Clyde Fisher, Ph.D., LL.D., Curator 
William H. Barton, Jr., M.S., Associate Curator 
Dorothy A. Bennett, A.B., Assistant Curator 
Marian Lockwood, Assistant Curator 
Arthur L. Draper, Assistant Curator 
Charles A. Federer, Jr., Staff Assistant 
Hugh S. Rice, B.S., Associate in Astronomy 
Chester A. Reeds, Ph.D., Research Associate in Meteorites 
Minerals and Gems 

Herbert P. Whitlock, Curator 

Frederick H. Pough, Ph.D., Assistant Curator 



Fossil Vertebrates 

Childs Frick, B.S., Honorary Curator of Late Tertiary and 

Quaternary Mammals 
Walter Granger, D.Sc, Curator of Fossil Mammals 
Barnum Brown, Sc.D., Curator of Fossil Reptiles 
G. G. Simpson, Ph.D., Associate Curator of Vertebrate 

Palaeontology 
Charles C. Mook, Ph.D., Associate Curator of Geology and 

Palaeontology 
Edwin H. Colbert, Ph.D., Assistant Curator of Vertebrate 

Palaeontology 
Rachel Husband Nichols, A.M., Staff Assistant 
Walter W. Holmes, Field Associate in Palaeontology 



NATURAL 
HISTORY 

October 
1936 



Natural History is published monthly (except July and August) at N 
York N Y., by The American Museum of Natural History, S"'<" 
Street and Central Park West. Subscription price $3 a year, „..,,.-..,.. 
fifty cents. These rates also apply to Canada Newfoundland and all foreign 
countries. Entered as second class matter March 9, 1936: at the Post Office 
at New York, New York, under the Act of August 24, 1912. 



) at New 

IS 5 ™™" Volume XXXVIII 



No. 3 



SCIENTIFIC STAFF (Continued) 



Chest 



Geology and Fossil Invcrtebr, 

Reeds, Ph.D., Curator 



Living Invertebrate! 

Roy Waldo Miner, Ph.D., Sc.D., Curator 
Willard C. Van Name, Ph.D., Associate Curator 
Frank J. Myers, Research Associate in Kotifera 
Horace W. Stunkard, Ph.D., Research Associate in 

Parasitology 
A. L. Treadwell, Ph.D., Research Associate in Annulata 
Roswell Miller, Jr., C. E., Field Associate 

Insect Life 

Frank E. Lutz, Ph.D., Curator 

A. J. Mutchler, Associate Curator of Coleoptera 

C. II. Curran, D.Sc, Associate Curator of Diptera 

Willis J. Gertscii, Ph.D., Assistant Curator of Spiders 

Frank E. Watson, B.S., Staff Assistant in Lepidoptera 

William M. Wheeler, Ph.D., LL.D., Research Associate 

in Social Insects 
Charles W. Leng, B.Sc, Research Associate in Coleoptera 
Herbert F. Schwarz, M.A., Research Associate in 

Hymenoptera 
E. L. Bell, Research Associate in Lepidoptera 

Living and Extinct Fishes 

William K. Gregory, Ph.D., Curator* 

John T. Nichols, A.B., Curator of Recent Fishes 

E. W. Gudger, Ph.D., Bibliographer and Associate Curator 

Francesca R. LaMonte, B.A., Associate Curator 

Charles H. Townsend, Sc.D., Research Associate 

C. M. Breder, Jr., Research Associate 

Louis Hussakof, Ph.D., Research Associate in Devonian 

Fishes 
William Beebe, Sc.D., Research Associate in Oceanography 
E. Grace White, Ph.D., Research Associate 
Van Campen Heilner, M.S., Field Representative 

•Also Research Associate in Palaeontology and Associate 

in Physical Anthropology 

Amphibians and Reptiles 

G. Kingsley Noble, Ph.D., Curator 

Harvey Bassler, Ph.D., Research Associate in Herpetology 

Experimental Biology 

G. Kingsley Noble, Ph.D., Curator 
H. J. Clausen, Ph.D., Assistant Curator 
Douglas Burden, M.A., Research Associate 
Homer W. Smith, Sc.D., Research Associate 
O. M. Helff, Ph.D., Research Associate 
Charles E. Hadley, Ph.D., Research Associate 
William Etkin, Ph.D., Research Associate 
R. H. Root, Ph.D., Research Associate 

Birds 

Frank M. Chapman, Sc.D., Curator 
John T. Zimmer, M.A., Executive Curator 



Charles E. O'Brien, Assistant Curator 
Elsie M. B. Nauhburg, Research Associate 
Albert R. Brand, Associate in Ornithology 

Mammals 
H. E. Anthony, D.Sc, Curator 
George G. Goodwin, Assistant Curator 
J. E. Hill, Ph.D., Assistant Curator 
G. H. H. Tate, M.A., Assistant Curator of South Amer: 

Mammals 
T. Donald Carter, Assistant Curator of Old World 

Mammals 
Richard Archbold, Research Associate 
William J. Morden, Ph.B., Field Associate 
Arthur S. Vernay, Field Associate 
William D. Campbell, Field Representative 



Comparative and Human Anatomy 

William K. Gregory, Ph.D., Curator 

H. C. Raven, Associate Curator 

S. H. Chubb, Associate Curator 

G. Miles Conrad, B.A., Assistant Curator 

J. Howard McGregor, Ph.D., Research Associate in 

Human Anatomy 
Dudley J. Morton, M.D., Research Associate 
Frederick Tilney, M.D., Ph.D., Research Associate 

Anthropology 

Clark Wissler, Ph.D., LL.D., Curator 

N. C. Nelson, M.L., Curator of Prehistoric Arcbzology 

George C. Vaillant, Ph.D., Associate Curator of Mexican 

Archaeology 
Harry L. Shapiro, Ph.D., Associate Curator of Physical 

Anthropology 
Margaret Mead, Ph.D., Assistant Curator of Ethnology 
W. C. Bennett, Ph.D., Assistant Curator of Anthropology 
Bella Weitzner, Assistant Curator of Anthropology 
William W. Howells, Ph.D., Associate in Physical An 

thropology 
Clarence L. Hay, A.M., Research Associate in Mexican 

and Central American Archaeology 
Mii.o IIellman, D.D.S., D.Sc, Research Associate in Phys 

ical Anthropology 
George E. Brewer, M.D., LL.D., Research Associate in 

Somatic Anthropology 
Frederick II. Osborn, Research Associate in Anthropology 



■ Explo 



and Research 



Roy Cha 



an Andrews, Sc.D., Curator 
Walter Granger, D.Sc, Curator of Paleontology 
Charles P. Berkey, Ph.D., Sc.D. [Columbia University], 

Research Associate in Geology 
Amadeus W. Grabau, S.D. [National Geological Survey 

of China], Research Associate 
Pere Teilhard de Chardin [National Geological Survey 

of China], Research Associate in Mammalian Paleontology 

Education 
George H. Sherwood, Ed.D., Curator 
Grace Fisher Ramsey, M.A., Associate Curator 
William H. Carr, Assistant Curator [Outdoor Education] 
John R. Saunders, Assistant Curator 
Herman A. Sievers, Staff Assistant 
Farida A. Wiley, Staff Assistant 
Agnes Kelly Saunders, A.M., Staff Assistant 
William Lord Smith, M.D., Staff Assistant 
Georgine Mastin, Staff Assistant 
Paul B. Mann, A.M., Associate in Education 
Gladys L. Pratt, Associate in Education 

Hazel Gay, Librarian 
Helen Gunz, Assistant Librarian 

Jannette May Lucas, B.S., Assistant Librarian — Osborn 
Library 

Arts, Preparation and Installation 

James L. Clark, D.Sc, Director 
Albert E. Butler, Associate Chief 
Francis L. Jaques, Staff Associate 
Raymond B. Potter, Staff Associate 
Robert H. Rockwell, Staff Associate 

Scientific Publications 

Associate Editor of Scientific Pub- 



Natural History 

Edward M. Weyek, Jr., Ph.D., Editor 

Public and Press Information 

Hans Christian Adauson, Chairman 




"I telephoned four girls, two stores 
and the florist in about thirty minutes. 
There's my luncheon arranged and 
off my mind." 

The telephone puts the world at 
your finger-tips. It is a quick, depend- 
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willing helper in household duties. 
In office and home, these oft-repeated 
words reveal its value — "I don't know 
what I'd do without the telephone." 



A telephone extension upstairs, 
beside the bed, is a great con- 
venience at small cost. Saves 
steps and time — insures privacy. 




BELL TELEPHON 



SYSTEM 



NATURAL HISTORY 

The Magazine of the American Museum of Natural History 
VOLUME XXXVIII * * * * OCTOBEB 1926 



Silhouettes from a Chinese Shadow Play Cover Design 

Designed by Charles Curtis Hulling 

A Museum Sherlock Holmes Frontispiece 184 

Behind that Door Roy Chapman Andrews 185 

Some of t/ie world's most interesting occupations at the American Museum 

The Eclipse in Kazakhstan Clyde Fisher 203 

16,000 miles to see a spectacle lasting only two minutes — an eye-witness account 

Through India Mr. and Mrs. F. Trubee Davison 211 

A journey in pictures 

The Cutting of the Jonker Diamond Lazare Kaplan 227 

The cutter's own story of a rare event in diamond history 

Fun with Sharks Col. Hugh D. Wise 237 

An indefatigable sportsman girds himself for battle against the most hated 
creatures of the sea 

Worlds Underground Anna McNeil 249 

Nature's most sublime handiwork and the art of early man await the tourist 
who ventures into the earth 

Creatures of Darkness Charles E. Mohr 260 

A remarkable series of cave portraits 

Your New Books 265 

Man Immortalized — The Dearth of a Nation — Eskimos — Island Warriors — Prophecies 

Science in the Field and in the Laboratory 270 

Birds of the Alps — Animals from Colorado — Pacific Pearls — Lectures in Gems 



Publication Office: American Museum of Subscriptions. Natural History is sent to all 
Natural History, Seventy-seventh Street and members of the American Museum as one of 
Central Park West, New York, N. Y. the privileges of membership. Membership 

Supervisor, Charles J. O'Connor. 
Editorial: Edward M. Weyer, Jr., Ph.D., Edi- 
tor; D. R. Barton, Frederick L. Hahn. Advertising: Sherman P. Voorhees, The Amer- 
ican Museum of Natural History. 
Manuscripts should be sent to the Editor, 
The American Museum of Natural History, Copyright, 1936, by The American Museum 
New York, N. Y. of Natural History, New York, N. Y. 



Behind that Door 



A resume of some of the world's strangest and most inter- 
esting occupations "behind the scenes" at the American Museum 



By Roy Chapman Andrews 

Director, American Museum of Natural History 

The American Museum of Natural 
History is not only a vast "place" with 
twenty-three acres of floor space, an 
average of twelve thousand visitors a day and 
housing, besides its exhibits, a whole village of 
nearly a thousand people engaged in such di- 
verse activities as tanning hides and manufac- 
turing electric power to measuring insects 
under a microscope and forging metal cases. 
It is an immense FORCE, adding bit by bit 
to the sum of human knowledge, gathering its 
information through research and exploration 
and disseminating it through its publications, 
lectures, radio broadcasts and its Department 
of Education. 

Largest in World 

Unlike many other institutions of its kind, 
the American Museum of Natural History 
will take you behind the scenes where you may 
gain a new insight on the myriad problems 
involved in running the largest institution of 
its kind in the world. Any member of the 
Museum, or properly accredited visitor, may 
obtain a pass through that door marked, "Pub- 
lic Not Admitted." 

When he steps through that door what does 
he find? First, that any organization of this 
size, though it be devoted to science, in its 
practical details comes under the head of Big 



(Left) One step in the long process that brings 
science to the public eye: a Museum Sherlock 
Holmes studying a fragment of a reptile long- 
since vanished from the earth 



Business. The Museum has its own power 
plant that supplies light, heat and ice for all 
of its buildings. It requires the entire time of 
two men just to replace electric light bulbs 
and clean the glassware of lighting fixtures in 
these buildings. The cost of these bulbs alone 
amounts to $5500 a year. Akeley Hall, which 
is still only partially completed, with many of 
its exhibits unlighted, requires $1100 worth 
of bulbs a year. 

In the basement there is the Carpenter Shop, 
where fourteen men are employed every work 
day of the year making all carpentry repairs 
and office alterations, doors, cases, furniture 
and picture frames necessary for the Museum. 
Next to it is the Machine Shop with its fifteen 
permanent employees, who are kept busy doing 
all the iron work, forging and roofing, the 
repairing of locks and machinery, the making 
of metal exhibition cases as well as special 
metal work for the Curators. It was the fore- 
man of the Machine Shop, Jacob W. Shrope, 
who, under the direction of Dr. Roy W. 
Miner, invented the waterproof camera case 
for undersea photography. 

Sharp-shooters 

Beside the Carpenter and Machine Shops are 
the Electrical, Plumbing, Paint and Masonry 
Shops. It requires the full time of six masons 
to keep the tiled floors and other stone and 
brick work of the Museum in repair. Few 
visitors know that in its basement the Museum 
maintains a shooting range where the men 
who guard its treasure practice marksmanship 
at regular intervals. In addition to the regular 
armed guards distributed throughout its halls, 
special guards protect the Morgan jewel col- 
lection twenty-four hours of the day. This hall 



BEHIND THAT DOOR 



I8 5 



has an individual electric alarm system and 
when it is closed to the public the guard is 
locked in. 

One of the busiest departments "behind that 
door" is the Print Shop. Started in 1903 with 
one man and a hand press, this Department has 
grown to such proportions that most of the 
Museum's publications, including Natural 
History Magazine, which was handled by 
our own printing press and bindery as late as 
1934, have had to be sent to outside printers. 
And still the Print Shop has trebled its out- 
put since that date. Here are just a few of 
the items it turns out : booklets for the Depart- 
ment of Education, Junior Natural History 
Magazine, all circular work and stationery 
used in the Museum and all labels that accom- 
pany the specimens throughout the exhibition 
halls. This last alone is a formidable item. 
Two orders in one day called for seven hun- 
dred and sixty different labels. Besides its 
regular work, the Museum press has printed 
the first volume of the late Professor Henry 
Fairfield Osborn's Proboscidea Memoir. 

Before taking the elevator to the upper 
floors perhaps you would like to visit the Ship- 
ping Room, through which pass all the express, 
freight and other heavy goods that enter or 
leave the Museum. Through its prosaic doors 
pours much of the glamour of travel and ex- 
ploration. Among the daily average of fifty in- 
coming shipments are motion picture film, crates 
of fossil bones, Museum supplies and live ani- 
mals. The latter, mainly frogs, turtles, lizards 
and snakes — the poisonous ones come wrapped 
in burlap inside a crate — are destined for the 
experimental laboratory. Frequently when 



some animal dies at one of the City's zoos the 
Shipping Department truck calls for it and 
brings it to the Museum where it is used for 
research work. Here too, all expedition equip- 
ment is packed, or crated, and sent to the in- 
terior of Africa or the coast of Patagonia. All 
skins and other material sent or brought in 
from foreign countries comes, under bond, to 
the Shipping Room where it is examined by 
the Custom's officials. 

If you take the elevator from the base- 
ment you are politely told at the fourth floor 
that there are no exhibits above this floor. The 
fifth floor is "behind that door." Here a totally 
different sidelight may be obtained on the 
vast and varied activities of the Museum. On 
your way to the Library you must pass the 
Mail Desk which handles, besides all incoming 
and outgoing letters, about three hundred 
publications and from ten to twenty packages 
a day. Among the latter are specimens sent 
to the Museum for exchange or identification 
by scientists or amateurs from all parts of the 
world. In one day's mail there may be a live 
toad from Colorado, a dead snake from 
Borneo, fish, minerals, bits of meteors or bones. 
Many of these are gifts to the Museum and 
are turned over to the proper department when 
they can be used. The Mail Desk occasionally 
receives a well-intentioned offer of a donation 
for which it can suggest no recipient, such as 
that of a woman who brought in a pet dog 
which she was going to have destroyed and in- 
quired if the Museum would like to have the 
pelt. 

The Museum Library with its one hundred 
and nineteen thousand volumes, while pri- 



Hayden Planetarium 

Drawn by Joseph M. Guerry 




NATURAL HISTORY, OCTOBER, 1 93 6 



marily maintained to provide reference litera- 
ture for the scientific staff, is frequently used 
by visiting scientists, writers, artists, explorers, 
representatives of commercial firms and stu- 
dents in their search for special information, 
references or illustrations on some subject per- 
taining to natural history. Here one may 
meet such well-known explorers as Admiral 
Byrd, William Beebe, Lincoln Ellsworth and 
members of expeditions going to Sumatra, the 
Bahamas or the South Pole getting in advance 
the information on climatic, geologic and hy- 
gienic conditions necessary for their trip. Art- 
ists, commissioned to make cover designs or 
illustrations, come to the Museum Library in 
search of such material as "jungles in Java" 
or "domestic cattle grazing in Palestine." A 
motion picture producer consulted the Library 
regarding the kind of cart to be used in a 
Rudolph Valentino picture with a South 
American background. The Library also co- 
operated with an automobile manufacturer and 
a silk manufacturer in the production of two 
expensive catalogues advertising new color 
schemes based upon exotic birds, fish, minerals 
and gems. Industrial research laboratories, 
writers of travel pamphlets, compilers of en- 
cyclopaedias and newspaper and scientific edi- 
tors are among those who meet behind that 
door. 

Jigsaw puzzles in bone 

On the same floor is one of the most inter- 
esting rooms in the Museum, the work shop of 
the Department of Paleontology. When the 
visitor to the Dinosaur Halls sees the skeleton 
of some prehistoric animal it looks as though 
it had risen complete from its million-year-old 
grave. The fact is that it may be composed of 
twenty thousand fragments of bone that have 
taken months, even years, to piece together bit 
by bit like a jigsaw puzzle. In the work shop 
these bits of bone are spread out on long tables 
and sorted into separate piles by experts who 
can tell by the texture and appearance to what 
part of the animal each fragment belongs. 
Patiently these pieces are fitted together and 
glued with a composition of paper pulp. In 
some cases the bones are found in compara- 
tively soft substance but when they are im- 
bedded in rock they must be removed with the 
aid of fine dental instruments and microscope. 

Before leaving the field every effort is made 
to find the entire skeleton. Where this is im- 



possible, the missing parts are reproduced in 
plaster. In the case of a recent remarkable dis- 
covery by Dr. Barnum Brown of the remains 
of a prehistoric stem animal — the first of its 
kind ever to be found in the United States — 
a half inch section of the femur was discovered 
to be missing. The following year another ex- 
pedition was made to the same spot. Three 
weeks were spent in the field and eight tons 
of earth and debris sifted through a fly screen 
and washed. The result was enough small 
pieces of bone to cover the bottom of a cigar 
box, among them the missing half inch of 
femur. There is no school except experience 
in which to learn the technique employed in 
the Paleontology work shop. Many of the men 
engaged in this work have been developing 
and perfecting their methods through more 
than thirty years of practical experience in the 
Museum. The result of their labor is casting 
a new light on the history of the world. 

Artistry in glass 

From the reconstruction of mammoths and 
mastodons it is but a few steps to the Tower 
Room where microscopic organisms are being 
magnified and accurately reproduced in glass. 
Mr. H. O. Mueller, the Swiss glassblower 
who has been with the Museum for more than 
forty years, has perfected a technique so indi- 
vidual that his exquisite replicas of delicate 
microscopic invertebrates are not only of in- 
estimable value to the student of natural 
science but in themselves are works of art. In 
the Tower Room too, are made the lifelike fish 
one sees in the exhibition halls. Plaster casts, 
measurements and paintings are made of liv- 
ing fish in their natural environment. From 
these, exact reproductions are made of wax and 
other materials and painted by expert artists. 

One of the questions most frequently asked 
by visitors to the Museum is, "are the trees 
and flowers in the habitat groups real?" A 
visit to the Preparation Department, which 
occupies an entire building, will answer that 
question for you. Although constant develop- 
ment of new technique and the invention of 
new methods by the scientist, artists and en- 
gineers on the Museum's staff are taking place 
in every department, 'progress is perhaps most 
marked in the Preparation Department. From 
the days when animals were stuffed with saw- 
dust, and cotton leaves were purchased from 



BEHIND THAT DOOR 



I8 7 



a millinery supply house, to the artistic perfec- 
tion of the recently opened Akeley African 
Hall, with its startlingly lifelike groups, indi- 
rect lighting, invisible glass and architectural 
perspective, is a matter of a few years, and 
yet this advance, growing out of the inspira- 
tion of the late Carl Akeley, has been brought 
about by the Preparation Department of the 
American Museum of Natural History under 
the leadership of James L. Clark and his As- 
sociate Chief, Albert E. Butler. 

Animals frozen solid 

The groundwork for the mounting of ani- 
mals and the reproduction of background is 
done by the expedition in the field. Plaster 
casts, measurements, motion pictures, still pic- 
tures, paintings and samples of rocks and plants 
as well as the bones and pelts of the animals 
form the basis for the work that is carried on 
and completed in the Museum. A large refrig- 
erator room on the fourth floor of the Prep- 
aration building takes care of the perishable 
specimens until they are ready to be mounted. 
It is also used to freeze solid in lifelike poses 
whole dead animals for study by the staff 
sculptors. Opposite the refrigerator room is the 
tannery where the stiff, salted skins arriving 
from the field are transformed into smooth, 
supple pelts, as easy to work with as fabric. 
These are no longer "stuffed" but fitted onto 
a paster cast of a sculptured animal. 

Whenever possible, real tree trunks, plants 
and grasses are used after having been dried 
and having their color restored with an air 
brush. In most cases, however, they must be 
reproduced in wax, glass, celluloid or other 
materials. So accurately and skilfully is this 
done that only a close comparison with the 
original will betray the difference. The new 
eliptical niches used in the Akeley Hall habi- 
tat groups presented a problem in painting 
background scenery which was solved by James 
K. Wilson, architect and artist on the Prepara- 
tion staff. As an animal, tree or other object 
painted on a curve would appear foreshortened 
to anyone standing in front of the exhibit, a 
chart must be made before painting in the 
background to determine the exact proportions 
that will appear natural to the spectator. 

On the Preparation staff are such artists 
and sculptors as William R. Leigh, Robert H. 
Rockwell, Ludwig Ferraglio, whose sculptures 



have been exhibited in the National Academy, 
F. Lee Jaques, widely recognized as the finest 
bird artist in America, with many exhibitions 
to his credit, Vincent Narahara and many 
others of national reputation. 

Although not executed by the Preparation 
Department, the Coral Group, in the Hall of 
Ocean Life, presented one of the most unique 
and difficult problems in preparation and en- 
gineering. You may have stood before this 
reproduction of a coral reef in the Bahamas 
to admire its sheer beauty or to study it with 
a scientific eye but perhaps it would have been 
even more interesting if you had witnessed its 
construction behind that door. To the visitor 
this Coral Group — the first ever to be installed 
in any museum — appears to have been brought 
to life intact instead of requiring twelve years 
of complicated and difficult work. 

Non-floating paint brushes 

Dr. Roy W. Miner led five expeditions to 
the Bahamas to make the studies and collec- 
tions for this group. Twelve hundred still pic- 
tures were taken, four thousand feet of motion 
picture film and seventy colored sketches. The 
latter were made by the artist Chris Olsen who 
worked undersea in a diving helmet. All of his 
equipment had to be weighted — to let go of a 
paint brush meant it would promptly float to 
the top. The coral itself was collected, bleached 
and packed in four weeks. To bleach the coral 
it was laid on the beach and water poured over 
it constantly to wash off all material clinging 
to it and then left in the sun to dry. Three 
thousand square feet of lumber were used for 
packing. 

As there was no precedent for making such 
an exhibit, many original problems in engineer- 
ing and technique had to be solved by patient 
experiment and ingenuity on the parts of 
Doctor Miner and Mr. Chris Olsen. One of 
the most difficult to overcome was the problem 
of disguising the steel construction where the 
coral did not cover it and at the same time 
not destroy the translucent appearance of 
water. A great variety of materials had been 
tried and found unsatisfactory when one day, 
as a joke, a friend of Mr. Olsen's presented 
him with a roll of a cellophane and wire mesh 
combination, used by farmers for the windows 
of chicken coops. It proved to be the perfect 
solution. 



188 



NATURAL HISTORY, OCTOBER, 1 936 



Few visitors to the Insect Life Hall realize 
the interesting work that is carried on "be- 
hind that door" to maintain the living insect 
exhibit. Live insects, like humans, have to eat. 
As their diet consists mainly of other insects, 
a veritable incubator and nursery is necessary 
to preserve this endless chain. Here, cock- 
roaches and crickets are raised on bran ; slices 
of potatos and apples serve as food for the 
tarantulas. Flower beetles, which are fed on 
dog biscuits and whole wheat flour, become in 
turn food for other insects. The praying man- 
tis, which is raised for exhibition, prefers live 
flies and meal worms. To make the meal worm 
appear more lively and therefore more tempt- 
ing to the mantis, he is dangled on the end of 
a piece of thread like a marionette. The ta- 
rantulas are perhaps the most spectacular and 
hardy of these charges. One of them has been 
living in the Museum for more than nine years, 
apparently satisfied with his hand-raised diet 
but without visible improvement in disposition. 

Every department has its problems behind 
the scenes which the visitor seldom suspects. 
When we read of people being prostrated by 
a heat wave we hardly think of insects as being 
similarly affected. And yet, a particularly hot 
spell last July raised havoc with the "nursery." 
Many of the inmates died and others became 
sickly. The bees that are kept on exhibition 
give the least trouble unless something unusual 
happens. In winter they are fed sugar syrup 
but in summer a panel in the wall adjoining 
their case is left open so that they can forage 
for themselves in the City's parks. However, 
occasionally an emergency arises as when re- 
cently several days of damp weather caused the 



wooden frame of the case to warp. A steady 
stream of bees flew out into the Hall through 
the crack between the frame and the glass side 
of the case and were captured with difficulty. 

The living insect exhibits not only play an 
important part in the educational work of the 
Museum but they form the basis of study for 
airplane designers, commercial artists (an ad- 
vertising firm, handling the advertising for a 
nationally known insecticide, recently sent a 
representative to study the living insects), tex- 
tile manufacturers as well as students of na- 
tural science. 

But even more important to the work of 
the Museum are the living animals maintained, 
not for exhibition, but for study and experi- 
ment by the Department of Experimental 
Biology. Step into the huge elevator at the end 
of the African Building, an elevator designed 
to carry such objects as mounted elephants, 
and ascend to the roof. There you will find a 
series of what appear to be greenhouses with 
the warm, humid atmosphere of Malaysia or 
Brazil. Rows of aquariums filled with exotic 
looking fish; glass cases in which close scrutiny 
reveals the sharp eyes of a lizard or snake be- 
tween the leaves of tropical plants ; cages of 
frogs, rats and other small animals fill a large 
part of the glassed enclosure. Under the direc- 
tion of Dr. G. K. Noble, these living creatures 
are studied for their habits, their reactions 
under varying conditions and for what light 
they may throw on the still existing mysteries 
concerning man himself. 

Every now and then the Department re- 
ceives an uninvited guest, as happened one day 
last spring. A live snake was discovered in a 



Entrance, Roosevelt Memorial 

Drawn by Joseph M. Guerry 




BEHIND THAT DOOR 



small traveling case that had been deposited on 
a refuse can in the neighborhood. The aston- 
ished apartment house superintendent who 
found it, not knowing what else to do with it, 
brought it to the Museum where it was given 
temporary shelter in the Experimental Labora- 
tory. Three days later an article appeared in 
a newspaper stating that a professional dancer 
had mislaid the pet snake which played an im- 
portant part in her act. The lady was notified 
and the snake returned to its rightful owner. 

740,000 birds 

Research is a vital function of every scien- 
tific department of the Museum, and the De- 
partment of Ornithology maintains an entire 
building for the purpose of research and study, 
not only for its own large staff, but for visit- 
ing scientists and students. A fact that the aver- 
age layman may be unaware of is that birds 
mounted and kept in cases are lost to science 
because their color fades and they cannot be 
handled and studied. The new Whitney Wing 
of the American Museum of Natural History 
now contains the largest collection of birds for 
study in the world. Forty-eight years ago the 
collection comprised 300 birds. It now has 
740,000. These are kept in series of trays in 
special modern, insect-proof cases that close 
with pressure against rubber to keep out mois- 
ture, vermin and dust. 

On each floor are special work rooms for 
visiting ornithologists as well as the offices and 
laboratories of the staff. To the Whitney 
Wing also come textile designers of automo- 
bile upholstery, ribbons and other fabrics to 
study the bird skins for new colors and pat- 
terns. What appears to the casual observer to 
be a monotonous warehouse of white enameled 
cases becomes an exciting experience when he is 
taken behind that door for a glimpse — with 
even "an uninitiated eye" — at how these un- 
mounted birds are used to unfold the secrets 
of migration, environmental influence and vari- 
ation, to add to our knowledge of the life his- 
tory of the world. 

The Department of Anthropology, of which 
Dr. Clark Wissler is Curator, can exhibit only 
a fraction of its thousands of specimens relat- 
ing to Man and his development and history. 
One must go "behind that door" to visit the 
unique "library" where thirteen thousand hu- 
man skulls, representing the natives of every 



part of the world, are filed for research in 
labelled boxes and arranged like books on a 
library shelf; or to the room of life masks, 
where shelf after shelf contains the plaster 
likenesses of every race and type. Among those 
who come to study the research collections are 
surgeons, dentists, specialists in pediatrics and 
sinus ailments as well as anthropologist and 
students of anatomy. Maintained for re- 
search, also, are the library of specially re- 
corded victrola records of native tribal music 
and rooms containing the implements, pottery, 
clothing and ornaments of the primitive peo- 
ples of the earth. The latter have specially 
designed doors and, as a precaution against 
insects, are periodically filled with poison gas, 
which is allowed to remain for several hours 
and pumped out. 

So much of the work of this Department 
is conducted behind the scenes that few may 
realize the infinite amount of patience and 
labor involved in the making of an accurate 
model of a Mayan temple, a miniature life 
group of natives, or the restoration of a pot- 
tery urn that was found in a hundred scattered 
fragments. It is in the workrooms "behind that 
door" that these bits are pieced together and 
the models made. 

Animals great and small 

No less interesting are the research work- 
rooms of the Department of Mammalogy, pre- 
sided over by Dr. Harold E. Anthony and the 
members of his staff. Here the skulls, skeletons 
and skins of mammals — from the tiniest shrew 
to the full-grown elephant — are stored and 
catalogued for study. There are one hundred 
thousand complete specimens in all. From 
twenty to thirty of each species are necessary 
for making scientific comparisons. The student 
who wishes to study the development of the 
tusk formation in elephants may compare 
thirty specimens of all ages, from a newly 
born elephant to the fully mature animal. 
Many of the smaller mammals are also pre- 
served in alcohol for study of the soft parts. 

From this Department advice and informa- 
tion is often sought by furriers, glove manu- 
facturers and other commercial firms as well 
as students of science. Wholesale furriers bring 
in samples of fur for identification. Usually, 
although head, feet and other distinguishing 
features are missing, the scientist has little dif- 



19O 



NATURAL HISTORY, OCTOBER, 1 93 6 



ficulty in determining tlicir origin. In one case 
recently, however, a real problem was pre- 
sented by a sample of a consignment of furs 
which was finally proved to be unborn rein- 
deer. Others, manufacturers of imitation fur, 
come to study and photograph patterns which 
may be copied in plush and other fabrics and 
many seek information regarding the abun- 
dance of fur-bearing animals in different parts 
of the world. 

At the end of a long hall in the main build- 
ing is the office of Dr. Chester A. Reeds, Cura- 
tor of Geology. This Department is constantly 
being asked for advice and assistance by the 
public. During the construction of the huge 
piers on the west shore of Manhattan Island 
for the Queen Mary and Normandie, when 
slides occurred, Doctor Reeds was called in 
consultation. Every day's mail brings samples 
of rock or meteor for identification, requests 
for information and applications for employ- 
ment. One of the latter recently lightened the 
day's labor. A college student wrote that she 
would like to be "the Curator and Librarian 
of the American Museum of Natural His- 
tory" and wanted to know how she should go 
about preparing for the position. One of the 
many problems of this Department is the mis- 
understanding of its work in the field by prop- 
erty owners. In taking samples from a clap pit 
in New Jersey, it was necessary to make test 
holes in the bottom of the pit to determine the 
depth of the clay. Some time later the owners 
had several feet of clay dug from the bottom 
of the pit and as it was below sea level it 
promptly filled with water. It required a great 
deal of explaining to convince the owner that 
the geologist's activities were not responsible 
for the flooding of the pit. 

The "Drama of the Skies" 

Not only the world we live in but the uni- 
verse surrounding it comes within the scope 
of the Museum. Since it was opened to the pub- 
lic in October, 1935, more than seven hun- 
dred thousand people have witnessed the 
"Drama of the Skies" in the Hayden Plane- 
tarium which is both a theater and a school for 
those who are interested in astronomy. In spite 
of the great number of people who come to 
witness the magic of an invention that can ac- 
curately reproduce the skies as they appeared 
to the Wise Men of Judea or as they will ap- 



pear to our great-great-grandchildren, an in- 
creasing activity is developing behind the 
scenes. The Hayden Planetarium Bulletin, the 
official publication of the Planetarium, dealing 
with Astronomy, has grown from a slim pam- 
phlet into a mature, full-si/.ed magazine. The 
periodic, national radio broadcast brings en- 
thusiastic letters from every part of the United 
States and Canada. And the Junior Astronomy 
Club is becoming known throughout the 
country. Its members have already taken an 
important place in astronomical circles. A 
member of the Student Science Clubs of 
America with headquarters at Pennsylvania 
State College, the Junior Astronomy Club has 
its club room in the Planetarium building. It 
is one of the many features of the Museum 
that takes place behind that door. 

Exploration 

There is probably no single branch of the 
Museum work as interesting to the public as 
its expeditions. Aside from the great scientific 
value of collecting specimens and studying 
their environment at first hand, exploration has 
a magic appeal to the adventurous and unad- 
venturous alike. The first organized expedi- 
tion sent out by the Museum was one from 
the Department of Mammals and Birds in 
1886, when Dr. Daniel G. Elliot and Jenness 
Richardson went to Montana in search of ma- 
terial for the Bison Group. In the past two 
years the American Museum of Natural His- 
tory has sent out more than forty-eight ex- 
peditions to all parts of the world. Among 
others, the Vernay-Hopwood expedition ex- 
pored Burma and Malaysia for rare specimens 
and a motion picture record of the gibbon. 
The Templeton Crocker expedition, in the 
yacht, "Zaca," sailed the South Seas to study 
the background of the Polynesians. The Sage 
expedition brought home the giant panda from 
West China and Dr. Barnum Brown flew 
twenty thousand miles over the Western 
United States to make an aerial survey for 
traces of prehistoric life. 

The big game scientific expedition differs 
from the sportsman's hunting expedition in 
many respects. The scientific expeditionary 
party usually includes a geologist, artists, pho- 
tographers, taxidermist as well as hunters and 
the native guides and porters. The motor truck 
has largely replaced the great number of na- 



BEHIND THAT DOOR 



191 



tive porters that formerly were necessary. The 
game to be shot is carefully selected so as to 
get perfect specimen animals and the skins are 
brought home, not as trophies, but to be 
mounted for scientific exhibition and study. 
Here are just a few of the items of expense 
connected with such an expedition to Africa. 
A one way passage to Nairobi, the head- 
quarters for most African big game hunting, 
costs approximately one thousand dollars. And 
that is only the beginning. To hunt lions, 
zebra and antelope there is a license fee of five 
hundred dollars for each gun. To shoot an 
elephant in its native jungle, the hunter must 
pay an additional one hundred dollars. Guides 
cost about two thousand dollars a month, de- 
pending upon the size of the party, for each 
individual in the expedition. Their charge in- 
cludes the supplying of native porters, food and 
automobiles. The type of gun used for killing 
elephants costs in the neighborhood of five hun- 
dred dollars. In many countries the shooting 
of game is now highly restricted and all sorts 
of permits are necessary. Many animals are 
fast becoming extinct through the encroach- 
ment of civilization. Their preservation in 
such institutions as the American Museum is 
highly important to the scientific education of 
future generations. 

To pass on to the public the information it 
gains through research, experiment and ex- 
ploration is one of the primary functions of 
the Museum. As the late Professor Osborn 
said, "It is not enough that scientists should 
know. It is important that people should 
know." Through its scientific papers, Publicity 



Bureau, Natural History Magazine — a sub- 
scription to which is included in every mem- 
bership in the Museum — other popular publi- 
cations and its Department of Education, the 
Museum maintains a constant flow of outgo- 
ing information into every state in the Union 
and most of the civilized countries of the 
world. The work of its Department of Educa- 
tion alone, is so vast that it would require an 
entire volume to describe what takes place 
behind that door. When the distribution of 
nature study collections and photographic 
slides was begun in the early part of the cen- 
tury it required the services of one messenger. 
As the Department increased its scope, a horse- 
drawn wagon was hired from a nearby livery 
stable. Today, the Museum keeps seven auto- 
mobile trucks in constant operation to deliver 
its educational material in New York City 
alone. Outside of New York, photographic 
material, including still and motion pictures, 
was sent to forty-one states, Alaska and eight 
foreign countries during the past year. 

The name of General Goethals will go 
down in history as the builder of the Panama 
Canal. But every man who wielded a pickax 
or interpreted a blue print was vitally neces- 
sary to is accomplishment. The American 
Museum of Natural History is playing an im- 
portant part in the enlightenment of the world 
in the science of natural history. It could not 
do so without the loyal co-operation it has re- 
ceived from its members. Every member, 
whether an associate member or an endow- 
ment member, is contributing his bit to the 
progress of civilization. 



South Facade, American Museum 

Drawn by Joseph M. Guerry 




NATURAL HISTORY, OCTOBER, 1936 




k 



Behind that Door 

The American Museum of Natural History invites 
its members to inspect the veritable village of nearly 
a thousand people who labor "behind the scenes" to 
the end that science may be advanced and interpreted 
to the public 



BEHIND THAT DOOR 



193 



At left, Dr. Harry J. Clausen is measuring the 
quantity of oxygen required by a snake 




(Above) Breaking a hunger 
strike: force-feeding a snake 
who refuses dead food 

(Right) Pampered inmates. 
The overhead pipes provide 
each table with ice water, 
hot water, and water of con- 
trolled temperature 



A wide variety of foods must be stocked to suit 
the dietarv habits of the laboratory's inmates. 
(Above) White worms being fed to fish under 
observation 



194 



NATURAL HISTORY, OCTOBER, 1 93 6 




BEHIND THAT DOOR 



195 



(Right) A Museum carpenter. A force 
of fourteen are kept busy making fur- 
niture, picture frames, cases, and other 
appurtenances 






(Below) Machinery whirrs in the Museum 
workshop. Special apparatus for the cura- 
tors is here constructed in addition to the 
extensive repair work that is done 



% 





Music of the spheres: mechanical 
overture produced behind the scenes 
for the appearance of the stars in the 
Hayden Planetarium 



(Below) Fred Raiser testing for perfect 
reproduction 




NATURAL HISTORY, OCTOBER, 1 936 



(Left) Storing fur "coats": '/'. Donald 
Carter oj the scientifi, staff hanging tkim 
in moth proof cases. Whole dead animah 
art frozen solid in life-like poses in a 
large refrigeration room for stud] by staff 
sculptors 



Mounting ,i cormorant: Raymond IS. 
Potter, one oj many experts constantly 
striving to improvt the methods >,\ 
taxidermy 




BEHIND THAT DOOR 






197 




(Above) A jig-saw puzzle in animal history: fragments from 
which an extinct creature will be reborn, illustrating the com- 
plexity of the task which confronts Dr. Barnum Brown 
(right) and his assistants when a shipment is brought back 
from the field 




(Left) The skeleton of a 
mountain zebra takes form 
under the skilful hands of 
S. H. Chubb, Associate 
Curator in Comparative and 
Human Anatomy 



NATURAL HISTORY, OCTOBER, 1 93 6 



(Right) A prehistoric clue is 
analyzed through the micro- 
scope: Albert Thomson pre- 
paring the jaw of an ancient 
mammal. Experience is the 
only school in this work, and 
many of the men engaged 
in it have been developing 
their methods for more than 
thirty years in the American 
Museum 



(Right) One stage in the 
reproduction, of an extinct 
animal: Otto Falkenbach 
piecing together the skeleton 
of a fossil reptile 




BEHIND THAT DOOR 



199 



"Are the trees and flowers in the groups real? visitors 
frequently ask. Some are, but Museum artists can repro- 
duce them so accurately that they cannot be distinguished 
from the real objects and last much longer. At left you see 
G Frederick Mason, whose cover designs are familiar 
to Natural History readers, turning his hand to the 
making of an artificial cactus 

Birch bark industry in miniature: 
Mr. Narahara mak- (cont. below) 




(Right) Fish that never swam. But 
in the Coral Reef Group, where 
they were put after Bruce Brunner 
completed them, many mistake 
them for real ones 



NATURAL HISTORY, OCTOBER, 1 93 6 




(Above) Microscopic anatomy 
rendered in blown glass: a small 
marine worm reproduced on a 
grand scale. (Left) The glass 
blower at work: Herman 
Mueller, who has pursued his 
distinctive art for more than 
forty years in the American 
Museum 



BEHIND THAT DOOR 




The Museum library , 
one of the many re- 
sources open to mem- 
bers of the largest 
institution of its kind 
in the world 

Here one may see 
such well-known ex- 



plorers as Byrd, Beebe, 
Ellsworth and others. 
Writers, artists, mo- 
tion-picture producers 
and research workers 
from commercial 
firms also make use of 
its ng,ooo volumes 



202 



NATURAL HISTORY, OCTOBER, 1936 



The Eclipse in Kazakhstan 

Eye-witness account by the American Museum's repre- 
sentative, who traveled 16,000 miles to study a spectacle lasting 
less than two minutes 



By Clyde Fisher 

Curator, Astronomy and the Hayden Planetarium, 
American Museum 

B\' early dawn — and dawn comes early 
on June 19th, in latitude 51 degrees 
North — there was a stir of quiet activ- 
ity in the various units of the expedition, mak- 
ing the last tests of focus and performance of 
instruments. At first the sky was partly cloudy, 
causing much uneasiness, especially on the part 
of those who had traveled half-way around the 
world to observe the eclipse. In the course of a 
few hours, however, the eastern part of the 
sky, where the sun would be located for us, 
became entirely clear, much to our relief. 

Effect on man and animals 

Exactly at 8:11 a.m. local time, as com- 
puted by a member of our party, Mrs. Isabel 
M. Lewis, of the U. S. Naval Observatory, 
the moon's disk made the first contact on its 
trip across the face of the sun. Since the moon 
revolves around the earth from west to east, 
the eastern edge of its disk first contacts the 
western edge of the sun's disk. In a little more 
than an hour the moon had moved entirely 
between us and the sun. As the sun's crescent 
became thinner and thinner, a, weird darkness 
came on, a phenomenon which affects both 
man and animals. It is practically certain that 
the chorus of bird-songs, which we had en- 
joyed for many days around our eclipse camp 
ceased temporarily, that the ever-present sky- 
larks suspended their ecstatic flight-songs — 
but I am sure that no member of our expedi- 
tion had time to observe the behavior of either 
man or animals. 



The ghostly and elusive shadow-bands, 
which usually appear a few minutes before 
and after totality, were not pronounced. I 
had seen them well on the snow at the eclipse 
of January, 1925, and was watching for their 
appearance here. At two minutes before total- 
ity I took my last look for them on the walls 
of our white-canvas optical tent nearby, and 
did not see them. They were observed, how- 
ever, by Dr. Donald H. Menzel and by Mr. 
J. A. Pierce. 

Weird twilight 

The darkness increased and delicate colors 
developed. The dark purple of the rolling 
steppes to the westward just before totality 
was unforgettable. The sky became dark 
greenish-blue, with a band of salmon-orange 
just above the horizon. Just as the last bit of 
the sun was covered, and with great sudden- 
ness, the finest spectacle ever observed by man 
was before us. The exquisite corona, generally 
considered the most beautiful feature of an 
eclipse of the sun, became visible as a five- 
pointed star with very long streamers, prob- 
ably interpreted by many inhabitants of the 
U.S.S.R. as a symbol of the Soviet star. As 
expected the corona approached the sunspot 
maximum type, in which the polar and lateral 
streamers are of about equal length. 

At the base of the corona, unusually high 
prominences could be noted with the unaided 
eye ; at least six could be counted, one of 
which must have been nearly 100,000 miles 
in height ; two large ones were so close to- 
gether that they might have been regarded as 
a double prominence. 

Venus shone out brilliantly about two de- 
grees above the sun and a little to the right, 



THE ECLIPSE IN KAZAKHSTAN 



203 



adding much to the spectacle. Mars, though 
much fainter than Venus, was seen to the left 
of Venus and closer to the sun. 

The Baily's Beads, produced at the begin- 
ning of totality by the last rays of the sun 
shining between mountains or other irregulari- 
ties of the moon's surface, and at the end of 
totality by the first rays of the sun shining 
through such irregularities, were especially 
fine at the end of totality, giving the gorgeous 
"diamond-ring" effect. 

A few months before the eclipse of June 19, 
1936, I was invited to join the Harvard- 
M. I. T. Expedition by Dr. Harlow Shapley, 
Director of the Harvard Observatory, sec- 
onded by Dr. Donald H. Menzel, also of the 
Harvard Observatory, who was to be leader 
of the expedition.* My acceptance of this at- 
tractive invitation was made possible by the 
generosity of Mr. Charles Hayden, god- 
father of the Hayden Planetarium. 

The path of totality extended from a point 
in the Mediterranean Sea off the southwest 
coast of Grecian Pelaponnesus, where the 
eclipse began at sunrise, thence across Greece, 
European and Asiatic Russia, Siberia, North- 
ern Japan, and out into the Pacific Ocean, 
where the eclipse ended at sunset. 

On Asia's steppes 

The station selected for the Harvard- 
M. I. T. Expedition was located on the 
Kirghiz Steppe in Kazakhstan in west-central 
Asia, nine miles east of Ak-Bulak, a town of 
9000 inhabitants. The homes here are low, 
one-story houses made of adobe bricks and 
with adobe roofs — a quaint old town with very 
wide streets. Here are to be seen more ox-carts 

*The entire personnel of the expedition was as follows: 
Dr. and Mrs. Donald H. Menzel of Harvard, 
Dr - a ? ( L M , rs - J° se PQ P- Eoyce of Massachusetts Institute 

of Technology, 
Mr. Henry Hemmendinger of Harvard, 
Miss Henrietta Swope of Harvard, 

Mr. and Mrs. A. H. Benfield of Cambridge, England, 
Dr. and Mrs. E. D'E. Atkinson of Rutgers University, 
Dr. and Mrs. Wallace R. Brode of Ohio State University, 
Miss Catherine Stillman of Vassar College 
Dr. and Mrs. I. C. Gardner of the Bureau of Standards, 
Mr. Paul King of the Cruft Laboratory of Harvard Uni- 
versity, 
Mr. H. Selvidge of the Cruft Laboratory of Harvard Uni- 
versity, 
Mr. J. A. Pierce of the Cruft Laboratory of Harvard Uni- 
versity, 
Mr. E. P. York, of the Cruft Laboratory of Harvard Uni- 
versity, 
Mr. Jackson H. Cook of Massachusetts Institute of Tech- 
nology, 
Miss Marguerite O'L. Crowe of New York State Board of 

Health, 
Mrs. Isabel M. Lewis of U. S. Naval Observatory, 
Mrs. Lucy T. Day of U. S. Naval Observatory, 
Dr. Clyde Fisher of the Hayden Planetarium of the Amer- 
ican Museum of Natural History. 



and camels than automobiles. In fact, the en- 
tire water supply of our camp was hauled by a 
Siberian camel complaining every step of the 
way. The actual eclipse camp was situated 
upon an ancient Chude burial mound, which 
gave- a fine outlook over this rolling steppe 
country. Since Ak-Bulak is not shown on most 
maps, it may be well to state that it is located 
southeast of Orenburg, home of the famous 
Orenburg Shawls. 

The similarity between this steppe country 
and the Great Plains of the Dakotas is strik- 
ing, and the summertime weather is much the 
same, that is, extremely continental. The 
mornings are usually clear, but toward noon 
or especially in the afternoon, light-colored 
cumulus clouds appear, having been formed in 
situ, becoming more and more abundant — 
beautiful for photographic effects, but dis- 
tressing if they should cover the sun at eclipse 
time. So, it was fortunate that the western 
end of the long path of totality was chosen as 
our location, for here the eclipse occurred in 
mid-forenoon (totality lasting from 9 hr. 15 
min. 20 sec. to 9 hr. 17 min. 17 sec, local 
time), not only a good time of day for the 
probability of clear skies, but also a good 
elevation for astronomical observation. In fact, 
out of six mornings immediately preceding the 
eclipse, four were perfect for observation. For 
a period of two or three weeks just before the 
eclipse, the record was much more promising. 

Many expeditions 

On adjoining ground was located the prin- 
cipal expedition from the Poulkovb Observa- 
tory near Leningrad, under the leadership of 
Professor B. P. Gerasimovich. The Poulkovo 
Observatory also had a branch expedition lo- 
cated near Omsk. Professor Gerasimovich, 
who spent a few years at the Harvard Ob- 
servatory, is not only director of the leading 
observatory in the U.S.S.R., but he was as- 
signed by the Soviet Academy of Sciences to 
arrange for all the expeditions in his country. 
Hence, it may be said, that we were close to 
headquarters, and the proximity to Professor 
Gerasimovich and his expedition added much 
to the pleasure and profit of our work. 

Forty expeditions were scattered along the 
path of totality in the Soviet Union alone, of 
which 28 were from the U.S.S.R., and twelve 
were foreign. The latter included two 



204 



NATURAL HISTORY, OCTOBER, 1 93 6 



from America — the Harvard-M. I. T. and 
the Georgetown University-National Geo- 
graphic Society — French, British, Italian, Pol- 
ish, Czechoslovakian, Dutch, Swedish, and 
Chinese. There were other expeditions in 
Japan. We were extremely sorry to learn that 
the Georgetown University-National ( !eo 
graphic Society Expedition, which was located 
at Kustenai, Kazakhstan, was frustrated by 
clouds. 

Most of the work of the Harvard-M. I. T. 
Expedition was spectrographic in character, 
and the results can not be known for months. 
In fact, the results of most of the expeditions 
can not be known for a long time. About all 
that can be said at the present time is that 
most of the parties had a perfect opportunity. 

The Soviet expeditions, which were scat- 
tered from European Russia to Eastern Siberia 
made definite plans to study possible changes 
in the corona during the sweep of the eclipse 
eastward along its path. Although such studies 
had been attempted before, they had never 



been made with exactly the same kind of in- 
struments, using the same kind of plates, to be 
developed under the same conditions. 

Results of the test of the Einstein Effect will 
be- awaited with interest bj many astronomers, 
tor there arc still some scientist-, who feel that 
the test of the bending of the rays of light 
from the stars when passing near the sun has 
not been satisfactorily met. Professor A. A. 
Mikhailov of the Sternberg Astronomical In- 
stitute of Moscow had charge of this work. 
He had clear skies in Khabarovsk Province, 
and made photographs of the star-field around 
the sun, with his camera of original design 
whirh will, it is hoped, make possible the 
elimination of the errors that arose in previous 
observations. Eight months later after the sun 
has moved to another part of the sky, Profes- 
sor Mikhailov plans to photograph the same 
star-field for comparison. 

K. N. Shistovsky, Technical Director of the 
Moscow Planetarium, planned to fly to an al- 
titude of 10,000 meters in a sub-stratosphere 




By D. F. Lcvctt Bradley 
Adapted fro 



'■ U. S. Naval Observatory map 



Extent of Eclipse 



The heavy line shows the regions where the dotted and dashed lines indicate the hour 

eclipse was total. It was from the town of Ak- (Greenwich Civil Time) at which the eclipse 

Bulak that the American Museum's observer, began and ended in various parts of Asia and 

Dr. Clyde Fisher, studied the spectacle. The Europe 



THE ECLIPSE IN KAZAKHSTAN 



205 






balloon, at the village of Otrada Kubanskawa, 
North Caucasus. His objects were to photo- 
graph the on-coming shadow of the moon with 
a motion-picture camera, and to make spectro- 
grams of the flash-spectrum and corona. When 
I talked with him about his project before the 
eclipse at the Moscow Planetarium, he was 
much interested to know that I had photo- 
graphed the on-coming shadow of the moon 
with the Akeley motion-picture camera at the 
eclipse of 1932. Although I have not yet heard 
what results Mr. Shistovsky secured, I should 
expect much from him. He is a very able and 
resourceful technician, having invented sev- 
eral outstanding accessories for the Moscow 
Planetarium, namely, the sunrise-after-dawn 
device, the twinkling-star apparatus, the strip- 
map for use in changing latitude, the Northern 
Lights device, and a solar-eclipse apparatus. 

Animal behavior 

So far as I know the first organized and 
directed project for the observation of the be- 
havior of animals during an eclipse, was car- 
ried out by members of the Young Natural- 
ist's Clubs of the schools with the cooperation 
of Professor P. A. Manteufel, Director of the 
Moscow Zoo. The preliminary results of these 
observations, which have been reported by the 
press, have brought many communications on 
the subject from various parts of the U.S.S.R. 
Professor Manteufel, who is a trained research 
scientist as well as a lover of animals, will edit 
these and publish a paper on the subject. 

While in Moscow on my return from Asia, 
I attended a motion picture theatre in order 
to see the Soviet news-reel of the Eclipse, 
which I understood was being shown through- 
out the U.S.S.R. I knew that it had been 
made at Ak-Bulak, but imagine my surprise 
when the picture opened with Clyde Fisher 
cranking the Akeley Camera! In fact, this 
photo-naturalist appeared in the picture in 
three different places. And the Explorers Club 
flag showed up finely. 

The Academy of Sciences of the Soviet 
Union is to be congratulated upon- its most ex- 
tensive educational campaign in connection 
with the eclipse, which was so thoroughly pro- 
moted and carried out. Every member of the 
Harvard-M. I. T. Eclipse Expedition owes a 
debt of gratitude to the Acadamy of Sciences 
and to Professor B. P. Gerasimovich for their 



generous and untiring help in making our 
project a success. 

One of the amazing discoveries made before 
the dawn of history by the ancient Chaldean 
watchers of thq sky was that eclipses occur in 
cycles, the series repeating itself every eighteen 
and a fraction years, this period having been 
named by them the Saros, signifying repetition, 
and by this name it is still known to as- 
tronomers. Thus it has long been possible to 
forecast eclipses with considerable accuracy, 
though not with the refined accuracy with 
which it is now done by the Nautical Almanac 
Office of the U. S. Naval Observatory and by 
similar agencies in other countries. 

An eclipse can occur only at the new moon 
phase when the moon is at or near one of its 
nodes, that is, one of the two points of inter- 
section of the moon's orbit and the plane of 
the ecliptic. These two points or nodes, how- 
ever, do not stay put, but travel westward, in 
a slow precessional movement which carries 
them clear around the sky in eighteen and a 
fraction years, and this determines the length 
of the Saros, or Eclipse Cycle. The exact 
length of the Saros is not an integral number 
of years and days, but is eighteen years, eleven 
and one-third days (or ten and one-third days, 
if the interval contains five leap-years). The 
one-third of a day allows the earth to turn 
one-third way around on its axis, and this 
makes the corresponding eclipse of the next 
Saros take place about 120 degrees west of its 
previous counterpart. Consequently it will re- 
quire three of these Saros periods, or a little 
more than fifty-four years, before we have an- 
other total eclipse of the sun in this part of 
the world. 

Eclipse next year 

After three Saros periods have passed, that 
is, on July 22, 1990, as calculated by the 
eclipse wizard, Oppolzer, we shall have a 
total eclipse of the sun visible in almost ex- 
actly the same longitude, although farther 
north in latitude. While it may be a little 
early to plan expeditions to this one, astrono- 
mers are already looking forward to the total 
eclipse of next year — June 8, 1937 — the path 
of totality spanning almost the entire breadth 
of the Pacific Ocean and ending in Peru. This 
eclipse, which will last seven minutes and four 
seconds, will be unusual in that the period of 
totality will be very nearly the longest possible. 



206 



NATURAL HISTORY, OCTOBER, 1 93 6 



The Eclipse in Kazakhstan 



The first publication of photographs taken by 
Dr. Clyde Fisher of scenes in and about the 
camp in Asiatic Russia where the Harvard- 



M. I. I . and thi In/dun/ Soviet expeditiom 
studied the most recent total ellipse of the sun 




(Above) The "Snow-plow" a multiple specto- 
graph of the Harvard College Observatory, a 
most efficient instrument used in determining 
the composition of the sun and the state of its 
elements 



(Beloic, left) A last-minute conference with 
the leaders: Dr. B. P. Gerasimovich, Dr. 
Clyde Fisher, and Dr. Donald H. Menzel 
(Below, right) Dr. Wallace Brode of Ohio 
State University photographing the flash-spec- 
trum, the spectrograph covered with a tent 




THE ECLIPSE IN KAZAKHSTAN 



207 




I 



(Above) Professor Eugene Perepelkin and as- 
sociate with the fine horizontal telescope of the 
Poulkovo Observatory. Above the larger in- 
strument a s?nall Zeiss refracting telescope. 



also used by the Soviet Expedition, can be seen. 
The Russian Government showed considerable 
interest in the eclipse. News-reels taken at the 
camp were shown all over the country 



(Below) Professor M. Navashin, of the Uni- 
versity of Moscow, and Dr. Clyde Fisher ex- 
amining a reflecting telescope made by the for- 
mer. The photograph of the corona on page 20Q 
ivas secured with this home-made instrument 



(Below) Dr. Irvine C. Gardner, of the Bu- 
reau of Standards, setting up his telescope with 
which he made color-photographs of the eclipse 




208 



NATURAL HISTORY, OCTOBER, 1 936 




rd College Observatory Phot 



(Above) The famous "diamond-ring" effect, 
here shown an instant before the moon has 
completely covered the sun 



(Above) Photograph by Professor M. Nava- 
shin of the inner corona together with un- 
usually high solar prominences which wen vis- 
iblt when the moon moved completely betiveen 
us and the sun 




(Above) The Eclipse-camp, showing from left 
to right, photographic laboratory , radio-shack, 
"Quadruped" (multiple spectrograph) , "Snow- 



plow" (rnultiple spectrograph) telescope used 
by Miss Swope, spectrograph used by Doctor 
Brode, and Doctor Gardner's telescope 



THE ECLIPSE IN KAZAKHSTAN 



209 



(Right) Two little 
maids from school: 
Mordvin Russian girls 
in national costume. 
Note the heavy "put- 
ties" 




(Below) Russian 
couple en voiture. 
Their horse resembles 
the Mongolian wild 
horse 



(Above) Mordvin mothe 
and child 



(Below) Water supply and 
lumber are provided by time- 
honored methods 




(Above) Russian peas- 
ant coating her house 
with a layer of adobe, 
a sort of stucco simi- 
lar to that used by 
our own Pueblo In- 
dians of the American 
Southwest 




(Left) Clyde Fisher 
showing his A keley 
camera to the leader 
of the Poulkovo Ex- 
pedition 

(Above, center) Miss 
Henrietta Swope on 
camel-back chatting 
with Professor B. P. 
Gerasimovich 



NATURAL HISTORY, OCTOBER, 1 936 



Through India 



A Iourney in Pictures by Mr. vnd Mrs. F. Tri bee Davison 



Mr. and Mrs. F. Trubee Davison recently re- 
turned from an expedition to India and Nepal 
for the American Museum of Natural His- 
tory. This was made possible through the 
courtesy and assistance of Mr. Arthur S. I er- 
nay, Trustee of the Museum. Mr. and Mrs. 
Davison made the trip from Italy and return 
by airplane over the Imperial Airways Sys- 
tem. The route goes across the Mediterranean 
to Alexandria, then east through Palestine to 
Bagdad, south along the west coast of the 



Persian Clulf, and then east ai/ain along the 

southern coast of Persia to India 
Collections for the Museum were made in the 
United Provinces through the kindness '/• 
Donald Stewart, Forest Officer, and also with 
iht able assistanci of Major Jam, > E. Corbett; 
in Nepal through the kindness of Hit llii/li- 
ness, the Maharajah, and Ills Excellency, the 
British Minister, Lt.-Col. F. M. Bailey, 
I',. I. I:.; while in Mysore and Madras Ralph 
Morris assisted Mr. and Mrs. Davison 




(Above) Mrs. Davison with a tigress which 
she shot for the Museum's collection. The 
tigress was crossing a stream and sank upon 



being struck. Here the animal is shown as it 
was being dragged from the river by the 
natives 



THROUGH INDIA 



21 I 



A memorial service for King George V in the 
jungle. While the Davisons were in the inte- 
rior, word of the King's death was received 
over a battery radio set. Captain Ihhotson, the 



District Commissioner , arranged the memo- 
rial service shown below, and can be seen with 
his back to the camera, flanked by the local 
Hindu priest and the Mohammedan priest 



The cutting of tim- 
ber in this region is 
under close super- 
vision of the Gov- 
ernment Forest of- 
ficers. The picture 
at the right shows 
one of the natives 
engaged in the work 




NATURAL HISTORY, OCTOBER, 1936 




(Above) The bungalow of one of the forest officers in Kaladhunga, 

at which the party was staying 



A crocodile shot by Mrs, Davison on the Gundiik River, while oper- 
ating from the camp of the British Minister in the Nepal Terai on 
the Gunduk River 




■WKtt^ 



2*K* 



THROUGH INDIA 



213 



Weighing a very large tiger shot by Mrs. 
Davison. The Department of Mammalogy at 
the Museum is most anxious to have accurate 
weights of tigers, very few having been re- 
corded. The means of weighing this one were 
rather primitive but accurate, the tiger being 



slung in a cradle at one end of a beam and bal- 
anced on the other by rocks, which were later 
weighed by a small government lead of known 
weight. The tiger measured 10 ft. 2 in. over 
the curves and weighed 525 pounds, allowing 
for a five pound loss of blood 




Transportation on the Gunduk River. Both 

poles and paddles were used to propel the 

craft, consisting of two dugout canoes lashed 
together 




214 



mill 

NATURAL HISTORY, OCTOBER, 1 936 




.< ■ » i < r • v ■-■■■»■ !fnrf 



ft!** % 




Major dredging operations in the bed of the Gunduk River. For irriga- 
tion purposes, it was decided to change the course of the river, and the 
enormous task was carried on entirely by human hands 

THROUGH INDIA 



(Above) The out- 
door dining room 
at Colonel Bailey's 
camp. Left to 
right: Lt.-Col. 
Bailey, Lt. -Col. 
Stevenson , Mr. 
Davison 



2I 5 




j^** 12>?%MBMCA 





T7;e /»>/; />ozrai 0/ i/ie expedition in human in- 
terest was a two-day trip across two mountain 
ranges, which happened to coincide with an 
enormous Hindu pilgrimage to a series of 
sacred temples on one of the sacred rivers. 
Every conceivable type of Hindu was repre- 



sented, from the highest noble to the lowest 
diseased beggar, including many old men and 
women whose ambition it was to die with 
their feet in the sacred water. One method of 
travel was to be transported in a dandy on the 
backs of coolies 




A striking demonstration 
of religious zeal: rnasses of 
Hindus thronging toward 
a common goal. The pil- 
grims came from hundreds 
of miles in every direction 
and endured severe hard- 
ships during their journey 



Over the entire journey, the 
crowds making the pilgrimage 
were thick, some on foot, occasion- 
ally some on native ponies, others 
being carried on the back of a 
friend or relative, like the man in 
the photograph at the bottom of 
the page 







'(Above) A lama from Lhasa, Tibet, who 
had been making the journey for over a 
year, the whole distance being covered by 
crawling on his hands, protected by large 
wooden gloves, dragging his feet to his 
hands and repeating the process 

(Left) A Hindu temple 



NATURAL HISTORY, OCTOBER, 1 936 



The tower of the temple, showing the eyes 
of Buddha which forever follow his disciples 




(Left) A temple partially destroyed 
by a recent earthquake 



(Belozv) Buddhist temple 



THROUGH INDIA 




(Above) Pilgrims making puja (idol worship) within the 
temple walls. (Below) The actual temples sought by the 
pilgrims, on the shore of the sacred river 




NATURAL HISTORY, OCTOBER, 1 93 6 




(Above) A typical Hindu Sadhu or priest in a tranct 



(Below) An automobile being carried over the mountain range 
on the backs of a hundred coolies 








A roadside Hindu 
shrine in the 
Nepal Terai 




In Mysore, a 
breakdown in 
transportation 
necessitates the 
use of oxen 




Tiger hunting in the Nepal Terai is permitted 
only by the Maharajah; and when his season 
is finished, the British Minister is invited to 
shoot, with guests approved by the Maharajah. 
The tiger, when located, is surrounded with a 
ring of elephants, and then driven out of the 



jungle circle by natives on the back of a big 
bull elephant. The shooting . while not danger- 
ous, is difficult. The tiger is almost always 
charging and is only visible for a few seconds, 
and the elephants are generally stampeding. 
The picture above shows the ring being formed 



At left, the ringing elephants are crossing 
the river; below, they are resting and 
cooling off 




THROUGH INDIA 



The party enters the range of 
the gaur, a large dark-colored 
wild ox, otherwise known as the 
saladang. A scene typical of 
Mysore and Madras 




(Left) A very 
large gaur ob- 
tained by Mrs. 
Davison for the 
Museum 



(Below) A native 
with his head en- 
tirely shaved ex- 
cept for a few 
strands by which 
he hopes to be 
pulled up into 
heaven 




224 



NATURAL HISTORY, OCTOBER, 1 936 



Two native women in perda, 
ivlwse faces and eyes must 
never be seen except by their 
own husband 



(Below) An old Model-T 
Ford occupied by another lady 
in perda 





THROUGH INDIA 



225 




■ f% ■ 




(Above) Entrance to the Maharajah's Palace 
in Mysore, a very modern and beautiful city 




— •» \*«» i 1 




The walled town of 
Koweit, in Arabia 



An Arabian village 
built in swampland: 
a photograph taken on 
the return flight 



226 



NATURAL HISTORY, OCTOBER, 1 936 



Cutting the Jonker Diamond 

A rare event in diamond history — upon a light tap of the 
cleaver's mallet hung the destiny of the largest and finest uncut 
diamond in the world 



By Lazare Kaplan 

When I was offered the opportunity 
of cutting the largest uncut diamond 
in the world, one might suppose that 
I would reach for it with eagerness. But since 
boyhood I had spent my life as an independent 
diamond merchant and craftsman, and I was 
loath to relinquish that independence and make 
my every professional movement answerable to 
another. The time element, too, had to be 
considered. Could I afford to devote my un- 
flagging attention to another's interest? Would 
I be neglecting my own business? 

Risks 

There are as many facets to the diamond 
business as there are to the stones themselves. 
To be sure, there was a personal consideration 
that influenced me. I wanted my son, Leo, to 
share the experience of cutting and finishing 
the second largest diamond in the world. But 
to understand thoroughly my mixed feelings 
about the proposed undertaking, you should 
know the risks involved. 

It is a common saying that Lloyd's will insure 
anything. But, while there were no difficulties 
in insuring the gem against the risks of an 
ocean crossing, they would not insure the 
cutting of the Jonker Diamond. The St. Paul 
Fire and Marine Insurance Company, which 
underwrote a $1,000,000 policy, were content 
to have the diamond travel by ordinary regis- 
tered mail, just as you might send your watch 
back to the factory to be repaired. But we 
could not insure the cutting. It is the only 
case to my knowledge where Lloyd's refused 
to insure something. Their refusal is indicative 
of the dangers. 



The great moment in the life of a large 
diamond, therefore, is the instant when the 
cleaver's hammer strikes the wedge. In dia- 
mond cleaving there is no middle ground. It is 
either done perfectly or the diamond is ruined. 
Diamonds have grain like wood but offer far 
more complex problems, and to misjudge the 
grain is disastrous. In the case of the Jonker 
Diamond, beyond the usual anxiety that would 
surround a stone of such unprecedented qual- 
ity, I was in the difficult position of disagree- 
ing with the unanimous opinion of the Euro- 
pean experts on how the diamond could be 
cleaved. 

The damage which a small error in cleav- 
ing would do was beyond reckoning, for the 
peerless quality and extraordinary size of this 
stone made it the most important diamond ex- 
tant. I had to think also of the prestige of the 
American diamond cutting profession, as well 
as my own reputation, for it was by all odds 
the largest stone that had ever come to this 
country for cutting. 

Glamour 

From the earliest times diamonds have 
stirred the imagination of men and women the 
world over. Wars have been fought over them, 
and wars have been left unfought because of 
their influence. Kings and emperors have worn 
them to accentuate their own power, and 
scientists have studied them in an attempt to 
fathom their mystery. Pliny, in his Natural 
History, described them as "the most costly of 
human possessions." The Greeks admired them 
because of their resistance to fire, because they 
were unconquerable, and so gave them the 
name Adarnas. So elusive are they that strange 
stories have been circulated about them. Some 



CUTTING THE JONKER DIAMOND' 



227 



believed that, though both hammer and anvil 
would be shattered in any attempt to crush 
them, if they were "macerated in the fresh 
blood of a he-goat" they might "with some 
difficulty be split by a hammer." Others be- 
lieved that the magnet lost its power when in 
contact with a diamond, that the diamond 
"also destroys the effect of poisons, and cures 
insanity." 

The glamour of diamonds was born in my 
blood. At an age when other children were 
playing with toys, I was learning about dia- 
monds from my father and uncle in Antwerp, 
the famous gem center. At 22 I was at the 
head of an important cutting plant there. Dia- 
monds have always held for me the thrill of 
adventure. 

Nearly half a pound 

Those of you who may have seen the Jonker 
Diamond when it was on exhibition at the 
American Museum of Natural History (the 
only occasion on which the public were given 
an opportunity to view it), remember an ir- 
regular frosted crystal about 2% inches long 
and iy 2 inches wide. Its weight was 726 
carats or nearly half a pound Troy. In the 
rough the Jonker has all the characteristics of 
a typical river diamond : the little spots of iron 
oxide and sand, often forced into the open 
cracks of the stone by the action of the water; 
the frosted gray coat; the form and composi- 
tion; and finally the soft blue fire. This dia- 
mond, unlike other large ones, had not a 
single internal flaw, only a few "skin" flaws. 

The story of its discovery was like a tale 
out of a book. Jacobus Jonker was an over- 
worked prospector and farmer of 62, who 
had persevered for 18 years, always on the 
brink of fortune, but always poor. He had 
reached the depths of despondency over his 
future, when his luck turned. There had been 
a heavy rain storm and when it died down a 
native was put to work on bucket gravel, some 
of which had been washed up by the storm. He 
found a dirt-crusted stone about the size of a 
hen's egg. When he rubbed it clean his eyes 
nearly popped out of their sockets. He had 
found World Diamond Number One. That 
night the treasure was put in a stocking and 
tied around Mrs. Jonker's neck. She went to 
bed but did not sleep, and the men kept guard 
at the door of the poor hut with loaded 
revolvers. 

228 



Jonker sold the rough gem to the Diamond 
Syndicate for a reputed $350,000. It went 
to London and was of course examined by the 
leading experts. Even before the diamond 
reached London the well-known American 
gem dealer, Mr. Harry Winston, cabled for 
an option and himself reached London soon 
after the diamond. He spent a month studying 
the stone comparing it with the Cullinan, the 
Kohinoor, and the other famous gems. Upon 
purchasing it he was confronted with the ques- 
tion of who should cut it. The foreign experts 
presented their plans with models of the 
separate gems which they thought could be 
taken from it. 

The finding of the correct plane of cleavage 
presented an intricate problem. Usually, in 
cleaving a diamond, the planes of cleavage are 
obvious at first sight, the real problem being 
to discover the exact position of any chance 
imperfection. In the Jonker, however, the 
problem was the reverse, the location of the 
grain presenting the greater perplexity. 

Much publicity had been given to the large 
flat surface of the Jonker Diamond, and all 
the European cutters took it for granted that 



Some Types of Cutting 





A. The earliest form 
of diamond cutting 

B. The Brazilian cut 
brilliant or Old Mine 
cut, in vogue during 
the last century 

C. The American cut 
brilliant 



NATURAL HISTORY, OCTOBER, 1 93 6 




this large surface represented one of the planes 
of cleavage, and outlined the cutting of the 
diamond in accordance with this theory. But 
in all ways this gem is a freak of Nature 
and to follow their plan would have ruined 
the stone. 

Mr. Winston had, a short while before, en- 
trusted me with the cutting of the Pohl Dia- 
mond. This was an extremely imperfect gem 
of 286 carats in the rough, full of flaws. I 
contrived to cut it into 15 stones, all of which 
were perfect except one and even that one 
sold for $50,000. This achievement in cutting 
was one reason why Mr. Winston thought of 
me in connection with the Jonker Diamond. 
He knew further that I had trained a corps 
of craftsmen whose skill is not surpassed any- 
where in the world. 

At no time in my experience had I been 
confronted with such a tremendous challenge 
as when Harry Winston submitted the Jonker 
Diamond to me. Everything about this as- 
tounding stone was extraordinary. It would 
seem that Nature herself had entered into the 
conspiracy to guard this priceless treasure 
from the covetous possession of man. First she 



Courtesy of Herbert P. Whitlock 
Abridged from "The Story of the Gems" 





D. The square brilliant, 
of which the Cullinan IV 
is an example 

E. Marquise cut dia- 
mond 

F. The pendant cut, 
of which the No. Ill 
Cullinan diamond is an 
example 




drew a film over the stone's brilliance disguis- 
ing its surface with a common frosted glass 
exterior. Again, its very size was disarming. 
David, when he faced Goliath, might have 
picked it up and thrown it away in disgust as 
being too large to fit his sling. Another clever 
device was for Nature to leave it, not where 
other diamonds lay, but in the chance back- 
yard of a humble farmer. 

.1 disastrous error averted 

I studied the diamond for months. A small 
ledge on the diamond was what opened my 
eyes to the mistake that the European experts 
had all made. It took strong self-assurance to 
follow my conviction. So elusive was this 
beauty that it was a year before I was sure of 
its grain. Once I was almost on the verge of 
delivering tlie blow with the mallet when I 
noticed a microscopic bend in a slight surface 
crack or gletz. This threw all my calculations 
off at the crucial moment. There was one cer- 
tain spot on the surface of the Jonker that in- 
dicated the correct plans for cleaving. Then 
somewhat as a naturalist reconstructs a din- 
osaur from a few scattered bones, I labori- 
ously reconstructed the crystallization of the 
diamond and thus determined exactly all the 
planes along which to cleave. Finally when I 
was sure, to the fraction of a millimeter, I 
knew that the elusive mystery of the Jonker 
Diamond lay at the mercy of a light tap of the 
mallet. 

Of all the great diamonds in the history of 
the world, the Jonker is only the second to be 
cleaved, the first being the Cullinan. And one 
who has not seen this operation, which com- 
bines the difficulties of an engineering feat with 
those of a delicate surgical operation, cannot 
appreciate the strain to which it subjects the 
operator. When Joseph Asscher cleaved the 
Cullinan Diamond he so feared that a mis- 
take might be too great a shock to his weak 
heart and cause him to drop dead, that he had 
a doctor and two nurses in attendance ready 
to revive him. When he delivered the stroke 
successfully he sank into a chair with a gasp 
of relief, was treated by the doctor, and spent 
three months in a hospital suffering from a 
nervous breakdown. 

No ordinary instruments would accommo- 
date the great Jonker for this operation and I 
constructed special ones. I found only one 



CUTTING THE JONKER DIAMOND 



229 



small place where I could make a groove. One 
tiny slip would spoil the groove and compel 
me to abandon my whole plan for cleaving. 
You may well imagine that in this initial step, 
my son, Leo, and I exercised the greatest care. 
The groove was scratched deeper and deeper, 
with a series of sharper and sharper diamond 
edges, so as to produce a clean V-shaped 
groove. Then a steel blade was inserted which 
is not unlike a carving knife except that its 
edge instead of being sharp is square. This 
gives the maximum spreading force of a wedge. 
A specially constructed, counterbalanced mallet 
was held above it, and my son and I knew that 
the light tap that would be given in the next 
second would ring down the curtain on com- 
plete failure or complete success. The blow 
was struck and the diamond fell apart in my 
hand exactly as we had planned. 

I must admit that it was a glorious feeling 
of superiority that came over me when I had 
found that I could make this magnificent 
jewel, of the hardest and most endurable ma- 
terial on earth, obey my command. 

Invisible saw teeth 

Cleaving is only the first operation in the 
cutting up of a large stone. While it can be 
accomplished only in the direction of the grain, 
the second operation of sawing can be accom- 
plished only across the grain. Whereas the 
first cleavage took a fraction of a second, the 
first single sawing required five weeks of con- 
tinuous work. 

The saw is a disc of phosphor bronze about 
four inches in diameter and between .005 and 
.002 of an inch thick. None of the standard 
diamond sawing machines was large enough 
to accommodate the Jonker, and we had to re- 
build one. The edge of the saw is not sharp, 
but is cut square and is covered with a mix- 
ture of diamond dust and olive oil. The dia- 
mond dust works into the phosphor bronze 
and acts as the cutting surface. On a damp 
day the cutting effect is greatly reduced and 
at times becomes negligible, and the operator 
then uses an ordinary electric heater to reduce 
the atmospheric humidity. When the weather 
is cold and dry and the windows have to be 
kept shut, the diamond dust gets into the air 
and is bad for the health of the operator. At 
the end of the day he will feel heavy and 



his cheeks will burn. To avoid this he peri- 
odically removes the excess dust from the 
blade with a tiny mop of cloth. Though the 
diamond is one of the clearest of known sub- 
stances, the dust which comes from sawing it 
is black like lead-pencil powder. 

After being sawed the separate pieces are 
cut and polished. For this they are set in a 
metal foundation and held against the surface 
of a revolving disc. This operation puts the 
facets on the gem. Great accuracy in faceting 
the diamond is all-important to its beauty. The 
facets should be arranged so that as much as 
possible of the light entering the stone is re- 
flected through the top. This mirror-like func- 
tion of the facets is due to the high index of 
refraction of the diamond, and it is only with 
masterly polishing that optimum brilliancy is 
obtained. The same composition of olive oil 
and diamond dust does the work. But the 
wheels, of porous steel, are manufactured es- 
pecially by a secret process that has been 
passed down for generations in one family in 
Belgium. 

The destiny of the Jonker 

The Jonker Diamond will make 12 separate 
gems, the largest of which will be approxi- 
mately 170 carats. Of the original 726 carats 
the final aggregate will total only a little over 
400, approximately 300 carats having gone 
into dust. 

One might think it a mistake to break up 
a stone of such unprecedented quality; but it 
will be far more valuable in separate pieces 
than in one. In former times there was a mar- 
ket for single stones of great size among 
kings, queens, and princes, but the day of 
crown jewels has virtually passed. What will 
be the future story of the Jonker Diamond no 
one can say. We can only hope that its career 
will not be attended by the bloodshed and 
sorrow that has surrounded so many great 
jewels, and that; it will enhance the beauty of 
beautiful women for many centuries. So far, 
its discovery has brought happiness to many, 
and it has brought no sadness into the world. 
To have taken some part in its story gives a 
feeling of participation in a great adventure. 
Humbly I am glad that my adventure with 
the Jonker has been the means of adding 
something to the general knowledge about 
diamonds. 



230 



NATURAL HISTORY, OCTOBER, 1 93 6 



Cutting the Jonker Diamond 




An unusual series of photographs published 




for the first time in Natural History 



When a humble diamond prospector discovered 
the Jonker Diamond he held in his hand: 
The largest uncut diamond in the world 
A flawless stone, finer in quality than any of 
the larger ones in existence 

A diamond approximately as large as a 

CUTTING THE JONKER DIAMOND 



hen's egg and weighing nearly half a pound. 
An unimpressive lump of crystal with a 
common frosted glass exterior, a stone which 
"David, when he faced Goliath, might have 
thrown away as too large to fit his sling" 



231 




Because of the grain, diamond cleaving 
must be done perfectly or the gem is 
ruined. At left, Lazare Kaplan is shown 
marking the lines of cleavage on the 
Jonker Diamond after months of study. 
His plan disagreed with the 
unanimous decision of the 
European experts on the direc- 
tion of the grain 



Pough Photos 

(Right) A knifelike piece 

of another diamond cuts * 

a groove for the insertion ^^^H£s 

of a wedge at the point 

where the diamond is to 

be cleaved 

(Below) The blunt wedge is inserted 
in the groove 

Pough Phot 





232 



NATURAL HISTORY, OCTOBER, 1 93 6 




CUTTING THE JONKER DIAMOND 



233 



After cleaving comes salving. Unlike cleaving, sawing has to be done 
across the grain 

Below, the operator is shown applying diamond dust and olive oil 
to the edge of the phosphor bronze disk which serves as the blade 




(Left), A special clamp to hold 
the great diamond during saw- 
ing. No ordinary clamp was large 
enough 



234 



NATURAL HISTORY, OCTOBER, 1 93 6 



(Right) If the diamond dusi is breathed in the 
nir it produces a feeling of heaviness and anises 
the checks tn hum. Therefore the operator re- 
moves the excess dust from the wheel with a 
small mop of cloth, as shown in the photograph 
at the right 




Pougli Photo 

>ove) An unusual sawing. The blade is slowly working its way up toward a 
saw-cut previously made from the right-hand edge. The saw blade does not do 
the sawing; it is the diamond dust imbedded in its blunt edge 

On damp days the sawing goes very slowly. Unlike the cleaving operation 
which is over in a fraction of a second, the first single sawing on the Jonker 
required five weeks of continuous work 

CUTTING THE JONKER DIAMOND 



235 



The final step: grinding and polishing. The 
diamond is frequently examined under a 
lens and measured with small gauges to see 
that its facets are set at the right angle. The 
facets are placed so as to reflect the light 
back and forth and enhance the brilliance 
of the gem 

The diamond is ground on a high-speed 
wheel coated with diamond dust and olive 
oil (see center photograph). These wheels, 
of porous steel, are made exclusively by 
one family in Belgium, in which the secret 
has been passed down from generation to 
generation 




Two partly finished dia- 
monds from the Jonker: 
in all, twelve stones will 



236 



be cut from it, the 
largest of which will 
be about ijo carats 

ough Photo 

NATURAL HISTORY, OCTOBER, 1936 



Fun with Sharks 



When an indefatigable sportsman girds himself for battle 
with the most hated creatures of the sea there is excitement a plenty 



By Colonel Hugh D. Wise 

U. S. Army, Retired 

I HAD had great fun in Cuba, in Hawaii 
and in the Philippines with sharks, so 
when I came home to Virginia, in the 
early nineteen hundreds, I persisted in the 
sport of my boyhood there and usually kept 
most of the boats at my father's place, at Cape 
Charles, smeared with evil smelling shark 
blood. I was still using hand-lines, harpoons 
and barrels, but had never attempted to catch 
big sharks on rod and reel. 



Sharks on rod and reel! 

Throughout my fishing career, I had been 
pestered by sharks — Dog Sharks, Bonnetheads, 
Hammerheads, Mackerel Sharks, Sand Sharks, 
and Duskies. Little sharks and big sharks had 
snapped my lines, kinked my rods and slashed 
fine fish which I was bringing up ; but never, 
until one day at the Virginia Capes, had I 
realized what sport there might be in catching 
these pests on ethical tackle. "Sharks! Sport- 
fish on rod and reel! You're crazy!" would 
have been my reaction to such an idea. 

That day, I had a fine forty-pound drum- 
fish right up for the gaff when a glint of grey 
in a swirl of foam flashed at the boatside and 
when it disappeared so did half of my drum. 

"George," said I to the boatman, "If these 
darned things are after a game, let's play with 
'em." Making a leader of a handy piece of 
bale wire and putting on a big hook, I baited 
it with the half drum left me and tossed out. 

Immediately the bait was seized and the 
reel shrieked. Novice though I then was in 
shark taxonomy, I recognized the sharp snout, 
robust streamline body and keel-like side ridges 



of a Mackerel Shark, probably the fastest and 
gamest of our Atlantic species. 

Realizing that my channel-bass tackle was 
not equal to a fight from an anchored sloop 
such as this promised to be, and knowing that 
we could not up-anchor before the fish reached 
the end of my twelve strand line, I jumped 
into the dory's bow and George, following me, 
threw off the painter and seized the oars. 

All reel drags were squeezed hard down 
and I was pressing the thumb-pad except when 
1 had to slip line to spare it more than test 
strain; yet half of the three hundred yards 
were out and the line hummed like a telegraph 
wire before we had the boat under way. 
"Faster! Faster! Follow him! Follow him!" 
I urged the sweating George who was then 
doing his very best, but the reel spindle was 
already showing in spots when we began to 
hold our own. 

After two miles of this chase, during which 
I had alternately slipped and recovered line, 
we began to gain a little on the fish and we 
were obliquing off to try to get a sideways 
pull to turn him. 

Seventeen circles 

We were then out beyond the point where 
John Smith landed, and we knew no more 
than he when he set out where we were headed 
for. With numb hands and aching back I held 
hard while George set an example for a Hen- 
ley champion. In another mile, we were al- 
most abreast of the tiring shark who now began 
to yield to my "pumping" and was turning. 
A little more and we had him circling the 
boat, a hundred yards off, so we on an inner 
circle could keep abreast of him. Around and 
around, seventeen times, he went, his sharp 
fin and crescent flukes showing above his white 



FUN WITH SHARKS 



237 



surge, and then off he went in another straight- 
away rush which took out most of my labori- 
ously recovered line and scorched the thumb- 
pad. Then, suddenly ceasing his rush, he 
sounded to the bottom and we rowed up di- 
rectly over him. In spite of hard pumping he 
could not be budged. He might as well have 
been the anchor until I chanced to remember 
an old trick. 

Taking a bait "jimmy-crab," I locked his 
claws to encircle my line and let him slide 
down. Hardly had his wiggling legs landed on 
the shark's nose when up came the shark and 
off he went like a dog with a can to his tail. 
He was simply wild. Never had I seen such 
speed in a fish ! It was one of the few times 
I had seen a shark leap clear of the water but 
up he went, once, twice, three times, like a 
tarpon, and, by these gyrations, he threw the 
crab. Then he settled down to more circling 
on the surface but he never again sounded. 
The "jimmy-crab" had cured him of that! 

No living creature could expend such energy 
without tiring; so, in two hours, he was thor- 
oughly exhausted. I was tired, too, and George 
slumped over his oars. Finally, the double line 
came up, followed by the leader and George 
led the shark to the gunwale, now only wav- 
ing his tail but still vicious enough to grind 
his lance-like teeth on the boat's planking. The 
gaff struck into the vital gills but, made for a 
seventy-five pound channel bass, its crook 
straightened under the weight of this big fish 
who in his frantic threshing deluged us with 
bloody spray and sank to be pumped up again. 
This time we got a slip-knot over his tail and 
hauled him aboard. A beautiful specimen of 
Mackerel Shark weighing more than two hun- 
dred pounds. What a fish! I have caught many 
bigger sharks but never a gamer one! 

"George," I shouted, "what do you think 
of it?" 

"Well, suh," he replied, mopping his face 
with a scrub-rag, "I thinks I prefers drum- 
fishin." 

The beginning of a new sport 

Perhaps the sweat in George's eyes had 
kept him from seeing the possibilities in the 
new sport which I had discovered at our very 
door, and in which we could indulge when 
tuna and other big fish were not accessible. I 
saw those possibilities, however, and I began 
experimenting with tackle and bait, and hunt- 



ing for the places where sharks were most 
likely to be found. The hydrographic charts 
on my father's study walls were no longer used 
by me for navigation but for locating the tide 
runs where sharks would be looking for prey. 

While I was probably the first to take up 
the sport of angling for sharks in that vicinity, 
I was by no means the first shark fisherman in 
the Chesapeake and we must give the credit 
for that to John Smith who came there some 
years ago and who nearly met his death by 
trying to spear a selachian with his rapier, not 
ethical tackle, by the way. The place where 
he got a stingray spike through his thigh is 
still known as Stingaree Point. 

All along our Atlantic Coast, offshore and 
in bays, there is good shark-fishing and it is 
surprising how few anglers avail themselves 
of it. Do they think that it is as uncertain and 
as expensive as swordfishing or do they say, as 
I used to say: "Sharks! — You're crazy!" 

From Cape Charles northward, a string of 
low islands (Fisherman's, Smith's, Cobb's, 
etc.), stretching between the open sea and the 
mainland, makes a narrow sound — the 
"River," it is locally called — which opens into 
the ocean through inlets between the islands. 

Ideal fishing ground 

The comparatively quiet water of the 
"River," bordered by wide marshes with deep 
tide channels, teems with marine life and is, 
therefore, an ideal feeding ground for small 
and medium-sized sharks, while larger ones 
hang around outside the inlets waiting for re- 
jects from seines and traps or for other food 
to drift out with the ebb tide. 

In some degree, therefore, an angler may 
choose whether, by staying inside, he will have 
several fights, with sharks of from fifty to a 
hundred and fifty pounds, or whether he will 
go outside and try for a big fellow which 
might weigh a thousand. 

Inside, the angler will probably find that 
an ordinary fishing boat and regular light 
tuna tackle will suffice, but outside, he should 
be equipped for heavy deep-sea fishing. 

His boat, large enough for considerable sea, 
must be fast enough to follow the rushes of 
the fish and handy enough to maneuver with 
them. 

The boatman, no less than the angler, must 
understand the game and from his wheel, in 



2 3 8 



NATURAL HISTORY, OCTOBER, 1 93 6 



sight of the rodman, he must conform the 
movements of the boat to those of the fish. 

I like the swivel-chair in the cockpit, aft of 
midships, from which position the fish can be 
fought always over the side rather than over 
pitching bow or whirring propeller; and, 
throughout the struggle, the boat should be 
kept broadside on to the fish, not only so the 
line may not foul deck-house, flagstaff and 
tiller but also because the boat will be in 
better position to conform to the movements 
of the fish. 

Fisher in harness 

The angler should be in a swivel-chair so 
he may swing to face the fish and unless it 
is below the gunwale, he should be strapped 
in because a hundred-pound pull might easily 
slide him overboard. 

On the chair there should be a pivoting rod- 
seat, for the angler could not hold the rod 
in his hands and, with a belt-rest, his solar- 
plexus will get a terrific mauling. He must 
have also a shoulder harness because neither 
hands nor arms could withstand the strain of 
hours of tussle with a big shark. Such a fight 
may last hours and if the angler does not feel 
equal to that, he had better stay "inside" and 
content himself with the smaller sharks. 

In my observation the greatest danger of 
losing the fish comes soon after the strike, 
before the boat is under way, or near the end 
of the fight, when he is being brought in for 
the iron. 

The shark may hit the bait with a savage 
lunge, but except with the White or the 
Mackerel Shark, there is more likely to be a 
preliminary tugging. When this comes, slip the 
line a little, and, when he takes the hook, 
strike! And strike hard! He has a tough and 
leathery mouth. 

Galvanized by the sting of the hook and 
infuriated by the check, away he goes in a 
wild straightaway. You can't stop him, so lie 
back in your harness, tighten down your drags, 
and put all safe pressure on the thumbpad! 
Meantime, you are cussing the boatman to get 
under way and follow. 

The boat takes a course parallel to that of 
the fish and about fifty yards away from it 
and you, by vigorous pumping, are trying to 
turn him and to recover some of the line he 
took out with his first rush. 

After a mile or so, the shark and the boat, 



the one retarded by the pull of your line, and 
the other helped by it, may be almost abreast 
in the race and you may have turned him and 
started him circling. It is your job now to 
keep him under constant tension, pulling his 
head toward the center of the circle of whicli 
your line is the radius while the boat follows 
on a smaller inside circle. 

If you have in half of your line, to insure 
against another rush, there will be no im- 
mediate advantage in getting back more of it. 
On the contrary, it is better to keep the fish 
circling on a long radius to tire him out while 
you, lying back in your harness, save your 
strength for the fight to come. 

There will be more rushes and more circling 
and, sooner or later, the shark will probably 
sound to the bottom and try to rub out the 
hook. Whether or not he could do this, he 
must not be allowed to lie there and rest. 
Your back may ache, your arms may be numb, 
your hands may burn, but you must "pump 
him up." 

Sometimes a shark will suddenly cease pull- 
ing and will dash full speed toward the boat 
and past it, faster than you can reel in line. 
There is not much danger that he will throw 
the hook, but there is real danger that he may 
snap the line if he comes sharply to the end of 
the slack. You must throw off the free-spool 
lever and take on the strain gradually with 
the thumb-pad. 

The dart is driven home 

Toward the end, his rushes become shorter, 
his circling smaller, and his soundings less 
mulish. He is tired and so are you ! Finally, 
you get the double line up and then comes 
the steel cable. The boatman takes it and 
leads the shark to the boatside; the dart is 
poised and driven home. The lanyard whirls 
from the bucket. You drop back in the chair 
and light your pipe. What remains is the 
boatman's job! 

C. Russell Bull, whom I call Charley, lives 
when not out in his boat, at Townsend, near 
the point of Cape Charles, Virginia. He is a 
fisherman and he would rather fish than eat, 
which is fortunate ; for, having to eat, he 
makes his pleasure provide for his necessity. 
He had regarded nets, traps, and lines solely 
as means of capturing edible and marketable 
fish, until I came along and proselytized him 
to the shark game and so diverted considerable 



FUN WITH SHARKS 



239 



of his time from more useful employment. 

At first he knew as little as I about shark- 
fishing, which was indeed not much, but he 
was an apt follower of an enthusiastic leader 
and together, he at the wheel, and I in the 
chair, we learned until we became an efficiently 
working pair of "nuts" and a menace to the 
asterospondyli, which is a "high hat" name 
for sharks. 

Charley's boat, a twenty-foot navy "barge," 
is seaworthy, well-engined, reasonably fast and 
handy, and it immediately caught my eye as 
just the boat for the sport. Its after third is an 
open cockpit in which I put my chair, only a 
few feet from the wheel, to let the angler be 
within easy communication with the boat- 
man who in turn is within arm's length of 
the engine controls. 

Forward of the cockpit is a little cabin in 
which are two bunks, a hanging table and 
cooking paraphernalia. All is simple and neat, 
but there is no pretense of the yacht. It is 
just a little fishing boat on which two people 
can live comfortably and, if necessary, two 
more can live uncomfortably, in hammocks. 

Freedom on the wave 

Charley is not only a good fisherman and a 
competent pilot, but he is also an excellent 
cook. When we sail we stock up with staples, 
take plenty of eggs, butter, milk, fruit and 
vegetables. The waters teem with fish, oysters 
and soft crabs. On our trips we have no 
schedule and we are not slaves to the clock. 
In fact, the clock is of minor concern, for 
it is the tide which regulates our lives. When 
it is right for fishing, we fish ; when it is 
not right for fishing, we eat and sleep. Meals 
are prepared when more important matters 
do not demand attention. If weather be good, 
we stay outside; if it be bad we run in for 
shelter and stay there until it is better. 

There is always infinite variety in the sea 
and in the waters opening upon it — "Age can- 
not wither nor custom stale her infinite va- 
riety" — and, for the man who loves them, 
there can be no monotony. With good com- 
pany, good air, good food, good rest, and good 
sport, knocking around in a boat can be just 
about an ideal existence. 

We are not always after sharks and for a 
change, or to rest tired muscles, we may turn 
toward drumfish, bluefish, weakfish, or any 



other variety that will take our bait. Hence 
the assortment of rods and tackle which clut- 
ters the little cabin. 

We usually get plenty of these fish, but on 
one of our trips we utterly failed, and it 
was a shark which saved us from being 
"skunked." Specifically it was a specimen of the 
Great White Shark. This fish must be credited 
or discredited with being the true "Man- 
eater," for it is against him that naturalists 
have most conclusively sustained the murder 
charge. Linnaeus even indicted him as being 
the fish which swallowed Jonah, exonerating 
the whale as being incapable of taking a man 
down his gullet, though we now know that 
certain whales could do this. 

We had been fishing for a week and Sun- 
day, my last day, with conditions perfect, 
found us two hours before sunset with but two 
fish — a pair of small weakfish. 

We were then trolling for drum and had 
just come into Little Inlet, one of my favorite 
shark grounds, but it was six weeks too early 
for sharks and with a ten-ounce rod and No. 
12 line, I was prepared for nothing heavier 
than drum. We were rolling along on the 
swell, hoping vainly for one of them to strike, 
when I spied a big fin. 

"Shark! Stop the boat!" I shouted, and 
Charley throttled the engine. 

"You don't expect to get him on that out- 
fit, do you ?" 

But I was already rigging a wire leader 
and a big hook onto my little line. 

"We'll try!" 

Whee-w-wee-w! 

The tide drifted us back, the bait, one of my 
little weakfish, trailing along beneath the sur- 
face fifty yards astern. When it reached the 
place where .1 had seen the fin, there came 
along the line the characteristic tug of a 
shark. He had firm hold of the bait but had 
not taken the hook so I slipped him a few 
feet of line, and Bang! he took the hook and 
I struck. "Whee-w-wee-w!" went the reel, 
and I seemed to be fast to a speed boat. "Fol- 
low him!" and I put on all safe drag. The 
little 4/0 reel seemed to howl with pain and I 
expected the rod to snap at any moment, for I 
was giving them more than reasonable strain. 
The boat finally got up full speed and we 
were following the fish, but he had out all but 
ten yards of my line when he ceased to gain 



240 



NATURAL HISTORY, OCTOBER, 1 93 6 



on us. Then, with the resistance I could give 
him, we began to gain, and in the next two 
miles I recovered half of my three hundred 
yards of line. 

Steering off on a course parallel to that of 
the fish, in another mile we were abreast of 
him and I had him yielding and beginning to 
turn. He circled nicely a few times, but then, 
changing his mind, he went off into another 
rush of several miles before I could turn him 
again. When the circling recommended, the 
tide was carrying us out rapidly, so we went 
spiralling towards Spain. 

"Are you prepared to serve breakfast on 
this ship?" I asked Charley. "I see no proba- 
bility of catching this minnow tonight." 

"Not unless you and the fish will give me 
a chance to cook it," he replied, and the shark, 
unconcerned about our breakfast, spiralled 
out further to sea. 

Land was almost hull-down when he 
sounded and lay still, and Charley, taking ad- 
vantage of this armistice, slipped the harness 
onto me. Hardly was I thus geared when the 
shark woke up and went off into another long 
and furious rush which, however, was his 
swan song for I "put on the heat" and he grew 
rapidly weaker. The harness was now giving 
me relief and I saw to it that the shark got 
none. 

His speed a mystery 

Throughout the struggle this shark had 
puzzled me for he was faster than any species 
I knew, except the Mackerel Shark, but the 
fleeting glimpses I had had of a blunt nose and 
a massive body showed that he was not a 
"Mackerel." When finally he was brought 
alongside, his fins and fluke stiff, and his body 
motionless, Charley struck with the gaff but, 
stimulated by the pain, the shark wrenched 
the gaff from Charley's hands and went down 
for another half hour of struggle. Twice more 
was this repeated but when he came up the 
fourth time Charley, leaning over the gun- 
wale, finished him with a butcher knife in the 
gills. 

Now we had our first chance to recognize 
him. The dark spots on his pectorals, his olive 
ventrals, his ashy-brown back, white sides, 
caudal keels and triangular serrate teeth identi- 
fied him as a small though beautiful specimen 
of the Great White Shark. 

On the boat-side he measured nine feet and 



two inches over all, and we estimated his 
weight as well over three hundred pounds. 
He had cost me a sprung rod and a damaged 
reel but he was worth it. His vitality had been 
amazing, but the fool fish had helped to catch 
himself, for it was his frantic rushes and hys- 
terical circling which exhausted him. For long 
stretches he was on the surface with spray 
flying over his bow like that from an aqua- 
plane. Nevertheless, it took two hours and 
forty-six minutes, from hook to gaff, to sub- 
due him. 

Perhaps I should be satisfied that he was a 
modest edition of this largest and most fero- 
cious species of our North Atlantic, for the 
Great White Shark is said to attain a maxi- 
mum length of more than forty feet. 

Jersey waters 

What was said of the Virginia Coast might 
almost as well apply to the entire Middle 
Atlantic Coast, and especially to the coast of 
New Jersey. There is a string of low islands 
and narrow sand strips standing off from the 
mainland as outposts against the onrush of the 
seas, and these separate from the ocean the 
almost continuous narrow sound which, in 
different places, we call by different names. 

The water, too, has there the same gently 
rolling loveliness it has on the Chesapeake. 
There is a ripple, not a surge, to its movement 
and shadows from fleecy clouds, w r afted by 
breezes laden with salt-marsh aroma, make 
myriad green tints on the surface. It is all so 
peacefully restful that even the gulls seem to 
dawdle in their flight. But through the inlets 
one bounds out onto the roaring blue ocean — 
What has all this to do with shark- fishing? 
Simply that the angler has his choice, as he 
had at Cape Charles. He may stay inside for 
little ones or he may go outside for big ones, 
but one of the uncertainties which go to make 
fishing interesting is that he may get the big 
one where he expected the little one, the little 
one where he expected the big one, or he may 
get neither. 

It may be remembered that it was a Ham- 
merhead on the Chesapeake which literally 
towed me into this shark-fishing game, but it 
is not that alone which is responsible for the 
thrill I always experience when fast to a 
Hammerhead. He is a wary suspicious fellow 
who is hard to outsmart and he has game- 



FUN WITH SHARKS 



241 



fish qualities equalled by few other sharks. 

Nature, always with a purpose in what she 
does, has given this fish his freakish head to 
be used for making his dives and loops, as 
ailerons are used on an airplane, and so erratic 
are his gyrations that once — 1 hesitate to tell 
it — a Hammerhead tied a knot in my line. I 
hasten to explain, however, it was a simple 
knot, not a bowline. 

In contrast to other sharks, most of which 
have rather small, staring, amber eyes, the 
eyes of the Hammerhead, located in the outer 
edges of the vanes of his head, are large, dark, 
and bovine, but please do not imagine that I 
am trying to make out a case of gentleness for 
him for he is, as his blade-like teeth indicate, 
as savage as other sharks, and as mean a devil 
as any of them. 

Fight with Hammerhead 

The finest struggle I ever had with a Ham- 
merhead was one day on a glassy sea ten miles 
of! the New Jersey Coast when we spied a 
high sharp dorsal fin, "gaff topsail" sailors call 
it, cutting the surface half a mile astern and 
following straight in our wake. Slowing down 
our engine, I let out three hundred yards of 
line baited with a fair size bluefish. As the bait 
skittered along on the surface the Hammer- 
head overtook it, circled it and came on. There 
was really no disappointment in this because it 
was exactly what a man, familiar with this 
wary fish, would expect. We opened throttle, 
dragged the bait past the fin, and this time 
the shark dashed at it, splashed around it, 
showed great interest, but was still too timid 
to strike, so we slowed down, and then — Bang ! 
He had it ! On he came straight for us while 
I wound frantically. Fifty yards astern he 
seemed to associate us with his toothache; in- 
creasing speed, he swung wide around us, and 
I wound hard to take up the great bellying 
sag in the line. With the fish a hundred yards 



to port, the line came straight. I threw off the 
free spindle lever, thumbed the pad, screwed 
down drags, struck hard to set the hook and 
then — what a performance! 

A demon on the line 

Straight towards us dashed the fish, whirl- 
ing and pitching on the surface, barely clear- 
ing our bow. Then away he went — two hun- 
dred yards to the other side while the boat- 
man, leaving his wheel, clambered atop the 
deck-house to clear the line. Like a flash the 
fish turned and was back again, just clearing 
the stern while John fended the looped line 
from the propeller with a boat hook and I 
struggled in vain to take in slack. Again and 
again this was repeated and then the Ham- 
merhead changed his tactics to short dashes 
back and forth on the surface, and dives and 
loops beneath it and once, in spite of our back- 
ing and turning, he went across under the 
boat. 

John got a lot of practice with his engine 
and rudder, my wrist ached from winding 
and my thumb burned from the hot pad be- 
fore we finally got the fish to circling. After 
an hour of that, the big gaff hook drove into 
his gills and the fight was over. It had been 
like a tarpon-fight except that this demon was 
bigger and stronger than any tarpon, and he 
looped in the water instead of going into the 
air. Hammerheads are wary, fast, and game 
but I have never seen any fish put up a finer 
fight than this one did, from hook to gaff. I 
forgot to measure and weigh this shark so I 
can give only my estimate — 9 feet, 250 pounds. 

In next month's Natural History Colonel 
Wise will tell more of his thrilling experiences 
— but this time he will deal with the dreaded 
Tiger Shark in the waters ojf the Bahamas. 



242 



NATURAL HISTORY, OCTOBER, 1 93 6 



Fun with Sharks 



(Below) The Thresher Shark. This excitable 
fish has a whip-like tail stretching tht 
oj his head and body combined, a weapon uith 
which he herds prey, and destroys nets 



(Below) Whale Shark 
beached at Acapulco, Mex- 
ico: One of the largest fish 
of modern times and one of 
the most brilliantly colored 
of the usually drab Shark 
family. Bright yellow spots 
are centered in a checker- 
board of white and yellow- 
ish lines 



^ 




FUN WITH SHARKS 



2 43 




(Left) Tiger Shark. The mention of his name 
sends cold chills through the natives of the 
Bahamas and West Indies where he abounds. 
He averages ten to twelve feet in length and 
is one of the most savage of his kind 



i^m^fz 




(Right) The Tiger's Jaw: Natural- 
ists have long claimed that a whale 
could not have swallowed Jonah, and 
Linnaeus has attributed the deed to a 
shark. Photo shows author Wise 
doubling for Jonah 
(Below) Gaily colored youth: As the 
young Tiger Shark grows older, the 
s?nall dark rings on his skin fuse into 
a fairly uniform greyish-brown 





244 



NATURAL HISTORY, OCTOBER, 1 936 




(Above) No Mass Suicide here: A Viviparous 
Tigress, with litter born after her capture. It 
is fortunate the female is so prolific, for other- 
wise the cannibalistic tendencies of the older- 
fish ivould result in racial suicide 



(Courtesy Capl. Lancaster) 

(Below) The True Man-eater : The great 
White Shark against whom the murder charge 
has been most conclusively sustained. Essen- 
tially a rover, he is possessed of astonishing 
strength and vitality 



FUN WITH SHARKS 



(Right) Twelve and one-half foot Ham- 
merhead with six foot man; Dr. E. W . 
Gudger holding one end of the freakish 
"hammer," Nature's equipment for mak- 
ing the tricky dives and loops that have 
literally tied knots in the fisherman's lines 



Courtesy E. W . Gudger 






(Above) Rovers of the Deep: White Shark, Hammer- 
head Shark, Southern Ground Shark, Tiger Shark, 
Spot Fin Ground Shark, Sand Shark, Loggerhead 
Turtle. The latter is often attacked by sharks, espe- 
cially the White and Tiger Sharks 



246 



NATURAL HISTORY, OCTOBER, 1 936 



(Left) Hideous: No creature of tin sea 
is so gracefully lithe gliding through the 
water, but none is so terribly fearsome 
as he dashes at his prey 




(Above) Shark carrying an underseas "Hitch-hiker": 
The remora, a fish that clings to the shark, snatching 
crumbs from his table. Fixing himself by a suction 
organ to the shark's body, he often travels far out in 
the ocean 



FUN WITH SHARKS 



247 




Courtesy Worthen Paxton 

(Above) Nassau's native divers have no fear of 
sharks as they plunge for tourist coins. The monsters 
are downright afraid of any such commotion 
(Below) Worthy trophies: the shark has been over- 
looked as a big game fish. Both the novice and the 
seasoned sportsman will find a fit opponent 



Courtesy Mondiale 
Black Star 



V 




Worlds Underground 



Nature's most sublime handiwork and the art of early 

man await the tourist who ventures into the earth 



By Anna McNeil 

We are all wanderers and explorers at 
heart, fascinated by the spell of the 
unknown, yearning to cast our daily 
routine aside like a garment, and to "take our 
pack and set out for the ways beyond." When 
the comforts and pleasures of home give place 
to the lure of distant scenes and attractions 
nothing is more enchanting than a cavern tour. 
Interest never slackens, for no two caverns are 
alike. 



Perils of cave exploration 

The men who first entered caverns braved 
the perils with inadequate light and equip- 
ment. A false step spelled injury or death. The 
sound of their own footsteps was terrifying; 
the dust stifling; the shadows full of menace. 
There was the constant fear that fragments 
of rock might become dislodged and block the 
exit ; and always the possibility of a plunge into 
an underground stream. Modern inventions 
have now made all explored areas safe. Elec- 
trically operated elevators provide swift and 
easy descent. Electric lights remove all haz- 
ards. Experienced guides conduct sightseers 
so that one cannot get lost. There are no tem- 
perature changes for the thermometers in 
practically all caverns remain stationary at 
about 56 degrees F. 

Howe Caverns, New York, are visited an-, 
nually by 100,000 tourists. These caverns, an 
hour by automobile from the state capital, 
Albany, are in the fertile and picturesque Scho- 
harie Valley, a short distance from an old stone 
fort in which the pioneers took refuge from 
the Indians, and which in a perfect state of 



preservation is now used to house relics of 
these early families. The caverns, which geolo- 
gists claim have been a million years forming, 
lie in beds of limestone nearly two hundred 
feet thick. One of the marvels is a winding 
vva y. 55° ^et in length, the work of erosion, 
in which the turns are numerous and so abrupt 
that persons walking single file cannot see the 
individual directly ahead. There is a delight- 
ful boat tour on a limpid lake two hundred 
feet beneath the earth's surface. 

From Howe Caverns the tour leads to the 
Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, one of earth's 
loveliest spots. The name is derived from an 
Indian appellation meaning "Daughter of the 
Stars." The valley begins at the confluence of 
the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers at Harpers 
Ferry and extends between the Blue Ridge 
and the Allegheny Mountains southward for 
nearly two hundred miles to the historic 
James. Its scenery is tranquil and charming. 
Beneath the floor of this peaceful valley lie 
the Shenandoah, Massanutten, Grand, Endless 
and Luray caverns and the famed Blue Grot- 
toes. These have probably all been occupied 
by prehistoric man ; have served as places of 
refuge during Indian uprisings, and have pro- 
vided shelter for the soldiers of both armies 
during the war of 1861-65. 

Nature's sculpturing 

Some of the notable sights within this group 
are the Persian Palace, the Ball Room, the 
Cathedral, the Saracen's Tent, and the Hall 
of the Giants. There is a wedding scene with 
a bride in white, a bridegroom and attendants, 
all cunningly sculptured by natural processes. 
On the ceilings and along the walls are ani- 



WORLDS UNDERGROUND 



249 



mals, flowers, trees, and replicas of familiar 
objects, all so realistic that the skeptical de- 
clare that they must be the work of man 
although they assuredly are not. 

Since Calvin Coolidge summered in the 
Black Hills, the gorgeous scenery of this 
region has attracted throngs of visitors to the 
Dakotas. Crystal Cave in South Dakota can 
be reached by leaving the main highway be- 
tween Rapid City and Sturgis, near the town 
of Piedmont, and following a road five miles 
in length through Elk Creek Canyon. This 
cave was found by hunters who followed a 
wounded mountain lion into an opening in 
the face of a cliff. They emerged into a high- 
ceilinged room covered with prism-shaped 
crystals which reflected the colors of the rain- 
bow in the light of their pine torches. More 
than 1450 rooms in this cave have been opened. 

A dome of diamonds 

Jewel Cave, sixteen miles from Custer, 
South Dakota, on Highway No. 36, gives the 
effect of the whole interior being studded with 
diamonds. A chamber called the White House 
has a dome-shaped ceiling, architecturally per- 
fect, covered with glittering crystals. 

Missouri has a group of caves which rank 
with the largest and most interesting. Onon- 
daga Cave, near Leasburg, eighty-five miles 
southwest of St. Louis, has been opened for 
three and one-half miles. Part of the tour is 
made by boat. This is an onyx cave and some 
of the formations are nowhere surpassed. The 
Lily Rooms are characterized by water-lily 
replicas, the lily pads of onyx seemingly afloat 
in glistening pools. Embedded in the floor of 
this cave are two human skeletons which in 
the slow course of the ages have become thickly 
encrusted with onyx. 

Marvel Cave, five miles west of state high- 
way No. 43 and fifteen miles southeast of 
Reed Springs, Missouri, is in the "Shepherd 
of the Hills" country. It was the haunt of 
many animal species during the Pleistocene 
era, and contains a Dead Animal Chamber in 
which are the remains of thousands of crea- 
tures, some long since extinct. Naturalists as- 
sert that this was the chosen mausoleum of 
wild animals of past ages. 

Many volumes have been written describ- 
ing the miracles in stone of Mammoth Cave, 
Kentucky, discovered by a bear-hunter in 



1809, and the first cavern of importance to be 
opened to the public. 

Mammoth Cave has been explored for 150 
miles and probably covers a very large area 
not yet known. It has become part of the vast 
National Park system which the United States 
Government has organized to preserve natural 
conditions and historic and scientific features 
unimpaired, for all time. Thousands of acres 
have already been acquired and the purchase 
will eventually include Kentucky's entire cave 
region. 

Four tours have been arranged, the longest 
of which occupies more than eight hours. The 
crowning glory of the cave is the Star Cham- 
ber. The ceiling is heavily coated with a jet 
black mineral deposit pierced with glittering 
crystals. The guides carry acetylene lamps. 
As the rays of light are directed upward, the 
crystals sparkle brilliantly, and the illusion of 
the heavens in the pure severity of a winter 
night is complete. 

The ceiling of the Snowball Room is cov- 
ered with globes of gypsum as if a snowball 
fight had been waged by elfin sprites. 

In the Crystalline Gardens there is a two- 
mile walk over a path which seems to have 
been paved with crushed jewels. Almost every 
flower known is reproduced in virgin white 
with foliage of curling, acanthus-like gypsum. 
In contrast to this enchanting sight there is 
a formation of great length and awesomeness 
which resembles the bed of an ancient river 
with five cities, demolished by Time, along its 
desolate banks. 

Mighty voices 

Echo River, 360 feet below ground, is a 
vast resonator. The slightest sound is magni- 
fied a thousand times, gathering sweetness as 
it rolls away through the dim corridors of 
stone, until lost in unknown depths. Standing 
at a certain point the listener feels the very 
earth tremble with the vibrations of his voice. 

Radio experts have conducted experiments 
in Mammoth Cave which prove that radio 
waves of the frequency used for broadcasting 
pass readily through 300 feet of solid rock. 

Five hours are required to visit the points 
of interest in Colossal Cavern, near Mammoth 
Cave. This is the sweets shop of the elves, for 
there are numerous saccharine incrustations 
so candy-like in shape that whole cartloads of 
confections appear to have been spilled there. 



250 



NATURAL HISTORY, OCTOBER, 1 93 6 



A giant lizard motionless on the brink of a 
stream proves on close inspection to be a 
bronze-colored mass of flint. 

New Entrance Cave has a Frozen Niagara 
of onyx which is a startling counterpart of 
the famous cataract and is considered by many 
persons to be the most beautiful of any cave 
formation. 

Great Onyx Cave is known far and wide 
for its exquisite gypsum "feathers" and for its 
Hour-Glass. 

The interior of Great Salts Cave is com- 
posed of chemically pure Epsom salts. Every 
movement of a person walking and the heat 
from the lights being carried, dislodge count- 
less particles which fall like snow. 

Journeying westward, Arizona has a Colos- 
sal Cave, 26 miles from Tucson in the Rincon 
Mountains, which has been explored for days 
by experienced men who have found no end 
to it. There is a legend, probably well-founded, 
that early Indian tribes used this cave as a 
passageway to the San Pedro canyon at the 
farther side of the Rincon range. 

A natural mausoleum 

Gypsum Cave near Las Vegas, Nevada, is 
one of the best-known of the smaller caves 
from its association of man with extinct ani- 
mals. It has yielded bones, claws, and even the 
coarse, yellowish hair of the ground sloth, the 
bones of the native horse, and two species of 
American camels, besides quantities of bird and 
small-animal bones. 

Man's occupancy has been found in the 
form of charcoal, burnt sticks, flint dart- 
points, and crude wooden dart shafts decorated 
with painted designs. These have been uncov- 
ered in the same deposits as the animal re- 
mains, or still lower. The Southwest Museum 
of Los Angeles is conducting further explora- 
tions within the cave in the hope that subse- 
quent discoveries will settle the question 
whether man inhabited the continent thirty 
thousand and more years ago, or whether the 
Pleistocene animals survived until a more 
recent period than has been assigned to them. 

The Carlsbad Caverns in southeastern New 
Mexico are believed to honeycomb the entire 
Guadalupe Mountain range. The secret of 
their existence might never have been revealed 
had it not been for millions of bats which 
nightly, rose from a vent in the mountain side, 



appearing at a distance like smoke from a 
chimney. This sight attracted the attention of 
Jim White, a cowboy, who located the spot 
after a difficult climb and spent three days 
within the cavern, lighting his way with can- 
dles. When he told of the wonders he had seen 
his friends complimented him on his lively 
imagination. The story finally reached a gov- 
ernment employe who put credence in it and 
investigated for himself. The deposit of bat 
guano which had accumulated at the entrance 
for centuries, sold for hundreds of thousands 
of dollars. 

The Carlsbad caverns have now been made 
accessible and attract the equivalent of a large 
city's population, each year. They offer the 
most massive formations known. One chamber 
is half a mile long and 349 feet high. 

Records of early man 

There are many caves throughout the 
United States that are little known to the 
public but of importance because of prehistoric 
finds. An expedition of ten men recently 
searched Utah's "Bad Lands" for dinosaur re- 
mains. In a canyon in the Grand Gulch dis- 
trict they came upon a cave with many 
undecipherable pictographs upon its walls. A 
curious design formed in a group of grooves 
hewn into the rock was disclosed in another 
cave. A score of ears of corn, a bunch of sticks, 
a boll of cotton and a boomerang were among 
other discoveries and were pronounced by 
museum authorities to be possibly ten thousand 
years old. 

Food cakes resembling the modern dough- 
nut have been found in caves near Kenton, 
Oklahoma, together with crude domestic im- 
plements. The original doughnut makers 
passed into oblivion centuries ago and not even 
legend persists to throw light on their identity. 

Human remains in a mummified state have 
been found in Kentucky caverns with meagre 
evidence of their times and customs. These 
people lighted the gloomy recesses with fagots 
bound together with strips of bark, dipped in 
bear fat. Their utensils were gourds, shown 
by many broken pieces. Corncobs, watermelon 
and sunflower seeds, and tobacco believed to 
be the oldest in existence, have been brought 
out for study. Fragments of moccasins and of 
textiles crumbled into dust, however, at the 
moment of exposure to the outside air. 



WORLDS UNDERGROUND 



251 



The world's first miners delved for salt, 
easily obtained with primitive tools. Rushing 
underground rivers long since dry, have hol- 
lowed out vast caverns in western salt mines 
and these have yielded stone hammers with 
wooden handles, a carved club of a type de- 
veloped thousands of years ago, sandals made 
of yucca fibre and many human bones. 

The lore of Indians, Mexicans and Span- 
iards is a jumble of romancing against a back- 
ground of possible fact. Amazing tales are 
still told of hidden treasure brought in ancient 
times from Mexico and Peru and guarded by 
members of an Indian esoteric order who in- 
flict terrible punishment upon white men if 
by accident or design they locate the caves in 
which this fabulous wealth is secreted. 

A number of cave sites in northeastern 
Nevada are soon to be excavated under direc- 
tion of the Bureau of American Ethnology. 
It is hoped that discoveries will be made which 
will throw some light on the culture of the 
mysterious Mound Builders. It is not now 
known if Aztecs or other tribes from Central 
and South America actually migrated north- 
ward and came in physical contact with the 
Mound Builders, or if the latter absorbed 
certain points in common indirectly, possibly 
from trade with a people in association with 
the Aztecs. 

Cavern explorations on other continents 
have yielded rich returns. An Italian expedition 
searching for traces of prehistoric man in 
southern Africa, reported the finding of an 
iron foundry buried six feet deep in an enor- 
mous cavern, in strata of the Paleolithic age. 
Iron still is smelted by primitive people with 
the methods employed four thousand years ago. 

Superstitions 

In ancient Europe caves were supposed to 
be the abode of sibyls, nymphs, fairies, dragons 
and evil spirits. No man dared descend into 
their depths for fear of what might happen 
to him when his intrusion was discovered. In 
the early centuries, the practitioners of black 
magic asserted that a unicorn's tooth was the 
most potent of charms. Superstitious man's 
desire to possess such a talisman outweighed his 
dread of the unknown. He knew that wild 
animals had their dens in caves and reasoned 
that a unicorn's tooth would be found there if 
anywhere. He ventured within and returned 

252 



without the charm but with no tale of curse 
or disaster or encounter with eerie inhabitants. 
Thus, caves came to be freely explored. Tens 
of thousands of animal bones, the accumula- 
tion of eons, were revealed. In the light of 
later knowledge these have been classified. 
The reindeer, grizzly bear, woolly rhinoceros, 
cave lion, brown bear, bison, cave bear, wolf, 
mammoth, the great urus, elk, and hyena once 
roamed the continent in such a remote period 
that climatic conditions were wholly unlike 
those of today. 

Ancient art galleries 
The caverns of France contain rock pic- 
tures estimated to have been made many 
thousands of years ago. Prehistoric man drew 
them with sharp pieces of flint. The crude 
outlines are still visible. Since practically all 
of these drawings represent animals, it is be- 
lieved that they had some connection with 
weird rites practiced by cave men to insure 
success in the hunt. 

One of the largest of these ancient art gal- 
leries was discovered by a small boy who 
burrowed through a hole in the ground on his 
father's farm, which attracted him because of 
its unusual size. He had heard his elders talk 
about the drawings on cavern walls, and boy- 
like was eager to make such a find for himself. 
A few feet from the entrance he was able to 
stand upright and he groped his way through 
a long corridor untrodden for scores of cen- 
turies and finally emerged into a huge cham- 
ber. In the dim light he discerned that the 
walls were literally covered with animal 
likenesses and with the imprint of men's hands, 
the work of Cro-Magnon artists. 

The boy's experience did more to foster cave 
exploration in France than anything that had 
previously occurred. 

Cro-Magnon artists flourished in Spain, 
likewise. 

Many hitherto undiscovered caves will 
probably be revealed to airplane explorers, who, 
flying low, can detect entrances that are hid- 
den from persons on the ground. This will be 
especially true of caverns on mountain sides 
and in canyon walls. 

Perhaps our own United States holds in 
its million-year-old caverns, many secrets of 
the infancy of the human race. It is certain 
that the richest and most startling archaeologi- 
cal finds are yet to be made. 

NATURAL HISTORY, OCTOBER, 1 93 6 



V 



Worlds Underground 

Tourists fail to rvalue the accessibility of underground wonders in 
many stairs. Gone are the dangers of former cave exploration. Electri, 
lights, elevators and expert guides facilitate fascinating explorations 

into some 0) the earlier chapters in the history oj the earth and man 

This photograph shows a passage in Howe Caverns, Neu York, a 
cave visited annually by 100,000 persons 

(J.. I. Lenn Photo) 












•J*^^** 



- v -'-~ 





(Above) Fluted canopies of stone: 
"Saracens Tent" in the Caverns 
of Luray, beneath the beautiful 
Shenandoah Valley in Virginia 
(Below) "A Broken Idol" named 
after the mythological Grecian 
mother, Niobe, who was turned to 
stone: a formation in Howe Cav- 
erns, New York 





IiU-cty 
Pho 



254 



NATURAL HISTORY, OCTOBER, 1 93 6 




(Right) The Bishop's Pulpit, Howe 
Caverns, New York: one of many 
strange examples of Nature's un- 
derground handiwork that can be 
seen within an hour's drive of 
Albany 

(J. A. Lenn Photo) 



VORLDS UNDERGROUND 



255 



(Below) A fantastic chaos of pillars and cur- 
tains greets the visitor at the entrance to the 
Giant's Hall in the Caverns of Luray, Virginia 
(Insert) Side Saddle Pit, Mammoth Cave, 
Kentucky. Since its discovery in 1809, Mam- 



moth Cave has been explored for 1 50 miles. 
The visitor has a choice of four tours, the long- 
est of which requires more than eight hours 
(Photo: Louisville and Nashville R. R. from 
E. J. Hall) 





cneral Electric 



(Insert above) The Kissing Bridge, Howe abruptly that one cannot see the persons walk- 
Caverns. The Winding Way in which this ing immediately in front of him 
feature occurs, is 550 feet long and twists so (J. A. Lcnn Photo) 



WORLDS UNDERGROUND 



257 




(Above) The famous frieze of horses in the 
Cap-Blanc rock shelter in southwestern France. 
Ice Age hunters who carved these figures 
fought the large cave-bears for the shelter of 
caves, and produced the finest naturalistic art 
of prehistoric times 



Exhibit reproduced by P. Gatit 

1 



(Below) One of our Cro-Magnon ancestors 
of about 30,000 years ago engaged in artistic 
endeavor. In the man's right hand is a hollow 
bone tube through which he blows powdered 
red ochre around the outlines of his hand to 
form an imprint on the ivall 




of Field Uu 



of Natural History © 




258 



NATURAL HISTORY, OCTOBER, 1 93 6 



(Below) J Neanderthal Family of perhaps 
50,000 years ago represented at the entrance 
in the Devil's Tower rock-shelter at Gibraltar. 
Neanderthal man is believed to have been the 

first to seize a woman and pro/eel her from 



animals and othei men. lie lacked U 
sewing clothing, vet hi tometimes endured the 
climatic conditions of the modern Eskimo. 
Fires (/lowing at the mouth oj his cave barred 

animals anil 1 old 




(Below) Members of the Cro-Magnon rare early artists at work on the famous Procession 

which drove the more primitive Neanderthal of Mammoths in the cave of Font-de-Gaume, 

people out of Europe: a painting by Charles Dordogne, France. Light was provided by 

R. Knight for the A merican Museum, showing stone lamps burning tallow 




Creatures of 

Glimpses of animals which have never been seen 
even by their own kind: a remarkable series of 
cave portraits by Charles E. Mohr. Born into 
eternal night, some of the creatures in these pic- 
tures may never have seen light until the pho- 
tographer's flash startled them in their haunts, 
if indeed they have eyes to see. All are native 
to eastern United States 



(Above) A tapestry of bats: 14,500 individuals 
in a single mass, Marvel Cave, Missouri. These 
bats (Myotis grisescens) hibernate here and 
probably pass the summer in caves several hun- 
dred miles to the eastward 

(Right) Weird shadows in a Pennsylvania 
cave: little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus), 
which enter this cave in October and do not 
leave until April 



Darkness 



i 



/ ^w ^A 



(Right) A fearless member of the under- 
world: the Allegheny cave rat, the eastern 
representative of the western pack rat. Un- 
afraid of humans, he will frequently sit un- 
concernedly while you pass within a f, 
feet of him 






I 



The famous blind fish, Typhlichthys osborni. 
A hazardous mile trip along Hidden River, 
in the cave of that name, brought the pho- 
tographer to the specimens shown here. 
Curio hunters have greatly reduced the 
numbers of blind fish in Mammoth Cave 
and elsewhere in Kentucky, where they were 
once numerous 



261 




(Left) A flaming orange-colored cave sala- 
mander, Eurycea lucifuga. Born probably 
from eggs laid far back in Nickajack Cave, 
Tennessee, this creature is gradually making 
its way to the entrance 



(Right) A difficult portrait: 
the blind cave salamander, Ty- 
phlotriton spelaeus, to photo- 
graph which the naturalist 
rrawled through long ivater- 
filled passages in the Ozark 
Mountain region 




Where the blind eat the blind. Sight- 
less crayfish and sightless fishes feed 
upon the sightless crustacean shown 
at the left. It was photographed mak- 
ing its feeble way through the shallow 
pools at Marvel Cave, Missouri 



(iliostly pale in the rays of the 
flashlight was the salamander 
shown at the right, and so slip- 
pery that it sr/ ni r/iw,/ right 
through the fingers of its cap- 
tor. Though salmon in color, 
it is known as a "purple" sala- 
mander 





(Above) Another view of the so-called "purple" sala- 
mander, Gyrinophilus. This specimen was photographed 
far back in Hidden Cave, Kentucky, but the species is 
also found outside of caves 
(Below) Orange-colored cave salamander 




i 



Happy is the collector whose flashlight reveals 
the strikingly beautiful blind white crayfish 
shown above. Sensitive hairs on its claws sup- 
plement its antennae as touch organs and com- 





pensate for its rudimentary eyes. This creature 
is particularly abundant in Smallin's Cave, 
Missouri 



The cave cricket, Hadenoecus subterraneus, is 
actually a long-horned grasshopper, with an- 
tennae three to four times the length of its 
body. It is wingless, but possesses well-devel- 
oped eyes 




264 



(Above) A tiny "giant" less than a quarter of 
an inch long: a blind beetle in Old Salt's Cave, 
Kentucky. Unknown to most visitors these 
creatures live under damp wood or paper or 
along the banks of shalloiu streams 

NATURAL HISTORY, OCTOBER, 1936 



Your New Books by t>. r. Barton 

Man Immortalized— The T)earth of a Nation — Eskimos- 
Island Warriors — Prophecies 



Heads and tales 

...........by Malvina Hoffman 

Scribners, $5.00 

"My artist's soul was satiated and renewed 
during these journeys and I drank deeply of 
the peace and benediction of immensity." 

IN 1930, Malvina Hoffman, was commissioned by 
the Field Museum of Chicago, to create the one 
hundred bronze figures that now stand in its Hall 
of Man. 

This project was the crowning achievement of a 
life devoted to sculpture, and so it is but natural 
that in telling the complete story of the Hall of 
Man, the author should tell the story of her life. 

Heads and Tales is such a book — a story within 
a story. 

Miss Hoffman begins with the elopement of her 
musician father and her mother, touches upon her 
childhood spent in West 43rd Street, New York, 
proceeds to her student days abroad under Rodin, 
Mestrovic, and others, tells the thrilling story of a 
budding career — and of the world famous celebri- 
ties who sat for their portraits — Paderewski (to 
whom the book is dedicated), Pavlowa (who wept 
at her mother's death) — and of her intimate friend- 
ships with them. 

This, in itself, would make a book — but suddenly 
scenes change. You see the war-wrecked Balkans 
through her pitying eyes — and then she embarks on 
her greatest adventure. 

Miss Hoffman journeyed around the world, seek- 
ing out every place, however great or small, that 
any group of humans called "home." Studying, talk- 
ing to, living with the subjects she was to im- 
mortalize in bronze. Many of them, she knew, as 
she made her preliminary drawings, were doomed 
to rapid extinction. Others she saw in dire straits 
she was powerless to relieve, and the immensity 
of her task flooded in upon her. All this is recorded 
in a vital, brilliant book, abundantly illustrated 



with examples of her art and scenes that have in- 
fluenced her thought. 

Now, your reviewer feels it his duty to warn 
you that, at bottom, Heads and Tales are a 
woman's memoirs. And that when a woman writes 
her memoirs she achieves a warmth of emotion 
that seldom, if ever, finds its way into the similar 
work of a man. But there is one fault that seems 
indigent to all works of this nature. It might best 
be described as a certain lack of self-restraint 
which makes for misplaced emphasis, and — par- 
ticularly when the author is an artist dealing with 
science — a tendency toward dangerous assumptions. 
When she insists on, "artistic freedom to select at 
least the best possible representative of a race, and 
not the ugliest" — she is approaching a confusion of 
terms. The inner workings of Nature are not 
governed by the touchstones of human aesthetics — 
purity of either line or strain are apparently not 
her ultimate goal. 

This fact has, incidentally, been ignored by certain 
Germans in the formulation of their political phi- 
losophy — and while on that subject, your reviewer 
is forced to confess, that the philosophy expounded 
by Miss Hoffman at the close of her book is not 
over meaningful to him. 



R 



ICH LAND, POOR LAND 

- - by Stuart Chase 

McGraw-Hill, $2.50 

"A lovely, vital continent has been outraged 
and betrayed." 

STUART CHASE'S book leaves you one com- 
forting thought — the grass will not grow in 
the streets of our cities. Unhappily, however, for 
your peace of mind, it will not grow anywhere 
unless something drastic is done about a nation-wide 
conservation of natural resources. 

Rich Land, Poor Land, is a clear-eyed expert's 
final report to his countrymen on the state of the 
nation, and is probably the most skilfully contrived 
inventory in history. 



YOUR NEW BOOKS 



265 



The forests, streams, wild life, farm lands, 
coastal waters and minerals of a vast continent 
are flung into Mr. Chase's utterly honest scales, and 
in nine cases out of ten, found desperately wanting. 
From the moment white men first began seething 
over the Alleghenies, to the present day, the country 
has been settled, operated, and scandalously ex- 
ploited under the concept of infinity. Next to noth- 
ing was done about conservation. There was al- 
ways more land— plenty of it— farther west. Always 
more trees, more birds, fish, coal. Hence, the lum- 
ber baron's laconic philosophy of "cut out and get 
out." Hence, the bare hillsides. Hence, the floods. 
Hence, the death of the last passenger pigeon in 
1914, and the disembowelment of a continent be- 
yond all reason. 

Nature spent thousands of years slowly accumu- 
lating her bounty. Came "the white-faced blight," 
and two centuries of organized rape. One truth 
shines out above all others in this book— the me- 
chanics of speculative exploitation for quick profit 
are simply not compatible with the eternal laws 
and processes of Nature. We have worked against 
Nature for too long and retribution is at hand. We 
must either utilize every atom of accredited scien- 
tific knowledge in an effort to heal the wounds 
ignorance has inflicted on the living tissue of these 
United States, or we will bleed her to death, and 
as a consequence be faced with starvation. 

Nor are there ways of escape through the 
miracles of synthetic chemistry and technical im- 
provements. They too, the author clearly demon- 
strates, are dependent in large measure on con- 
servation. 

As well turn a flock of school children loose in 
a highly equipped chemical laboratory, and expect 
no ill effects, as throw open the resources of a con- 
tinent to a horde of incredibly energetic, but ap- 
pallingly uninformed people — endowed with the 
insight of a pawnbroker, the foresight of a prize 
heifer. They were plainly not responsible for their 
actions. The devil of it is that we are. 

Leather-lunged spokesmen of certain organiza- 
tions in our midst are currently prating about the 
debts our children will have to pay. These gentle- 
men should turn to Mr. Chase's book. They will 
find therein material aplenty for their cause; facts 
and figures so adroitly arranged, arguments so 
brilliantly presented, that they could be inserted 
chapter by chapter into any oration of the broadest 
appeal. Perhaps this may come about. 
Who can tell? 



The reptiles of north 

AMERICA by Raymond L. Ditmars 



L 



T 



IFE OF THE SHORE AND SHAL- 
LOW SEA by Douglas P. Wilson 

Ivor Nicholson & Watson 12/6 



HERE is a popularly written, finely illustrated 
book on the sea life that abounds in the waters 
surrounding the British Isles down to about the one 
hundred fathom line. Laity as well as the profes- 
sional biologist will find a wealth of fascinating 
material within its pages. The author, Mr. Douglas 
P. Wilson, M.Sc. is Assistant Naturalist to the Ma- 
rine Biological Association, at Plymouth, England. 



266 



Doubleday, Doran, $6.75 

HE first edition of this book appeared 29 
years ago under the title of The Reptile Book. 
Since that time 28 new species of snakes, 47 lizards 
and 10 turtles have been discovered, and many new 
sub-species have been named. Doctor Ditmars, prob- 
ably the country's foremost authority on reptiles, 
has undertaken the formidable task of rendering 
a wholesale revision of his book. He has rewritten 
nearly all of his earlier classifications, added fresh 
ones, furnished new identification keys and brought 
the work completely up to date. There is no phase 
of reptile life that is not touched upon. 

Intimate observations on the habits of snakes, 
lizards and turtles, in wild state as well as cap- 
tivity are included. Many interesting comments on 
the human approach, and the authentic cures for 
various snake bites are given in full detail. 

The new edition is a surpassingly handsome ex- 
ample of the publisher's craft. The type and paper 
present the utmost in readability. The text is em- 
bellished by eight full color plates and more than 
400 striking photographs from life. 

No effort has been spared in creating a book 
that is both an exhaustive guide to the identifica- 
tion of all reptilian species inhabiting the United 
States and Northern Mexico, and a fascinating 
collector's piece. 



More simple science 

by Julian Huxley and E. N. da C. Andrade 

Harper and Brothers, $2.50 

]\/fORE SIMPLE SCIENCE is a sequel to the 
J VI co-author's previous work Simple Science, 
and like its predecessor combines accuracy and 
readability in such seamless fusion as to rank high 
among the most enlightening books of the day. 

More Simple Science deals with the earth we 
live in, its scientific history, what it is made of, 
how creatures come to life in it and how all this 
should influence the conduct of our daily lives. 

The forests, streams, wild life, farm lands, 
into friendly contact with the basic principles of 
chemistry, physics, biology and human physiology. 
The sequel cleanses geology, chemical agriculture, 
human and animal embryology, of the bewildering 
documentation with which they are too often sur- 
rounded, and presents them in shining clarity be- 
fore the reader's eye. But this is not merely an easily 
digestible Baedeker of science. Messrs. Huxley and 
Andrade are motivated by a nobler aim. Their book 
is calculated to instil in the common man a com- 
prehensive understanding of himself and his 
natural environment; to equip him to think about 
every-day problems accurately, and to make his 

NATURAL HISTORY, OCTOBER, 1 936 



decisions from an informed point of view. And, in 
a world where the theory of democratic social order 
is threatened on every side, what purpose could 
be more praiseworthy? 

"Without science and the scientific spirit," we 
are warned, "we shall just drift along; with their 
aid, man may he able to learn how to control his 
own destiny." 

Swish of the kris 

----- by Vic Hurley 

E. P. Dutton & Co., $3.00 

"The Moro is poised at a crossroad. He can 
accept the peace the Filipino offers or he can, 
with equal facility, pick up the bloody kris." 

VIC HURLEY has written an attractive, but 
none the less, exhaustive book on the history and 
entire social structure of the Moros, unconquerable 
inhabitants of Mindanao in the Philippines. 

The kris can be longer than the European sword, 
or as short as the stiletto. Whatever its length, the 
blade's keenness is unsurpassed. Wielded by the 
Moros, it has been the tangible means of keeping 
a remarkable race invincible — first, at the dawn of 
the Christian era, as conquerors of Mindanao; then 
for nineteen centuries of resistance to native in- 
vaders, Spain and the Americans. There are about 
five hundred thousand Moros compared to the 
twelve millions in the total population of Min- 
danao, yet their race is so hardy an organism that, 
kris in hand, they alone have remained independent 
while the rest of the Philippines have succumbed 
to the "civilizing" influences of the governments of 
Spain and the United States. Mr. Hurley's book 
is an investigation of this almost unique phenome- 
non, and a search for its causes. 

Warriors by birth, the Moros have always 
scorned agriculture or any other peaceful means 
of livelihood. They have even developed an art 
of poisoning fish in such a way that they remain 
edible, rather than concentrate on organized fish- 
eries. They are chronic pirates, marauders, pil- 
lagers — murdering for no other purpose than to 
test the blade of a new kris. Such a race was made- 
to-order for the Mohammedan religion they 
espoused. Successive generations, reared in the 
faith, are trained to battle believing that bravery 
spells paradise, the slightest cowardice, hell. 

These facts, Mr. Hurley feels, explains Spain's 
inability to subdue the Moros. Even the cruelties of 
the conquistadors, so efficacious in Mexico and Cen- 
tral America, were powerless against these brown 
defenders of Islam. And the Spaniards tried every 
means in their quite unpleasant repertoire, as the 
author shows by quoting from their own records. 

Swish of the Kris, is at once a document of 
sociological importance, and a fantastic story of 
unbelievable brutality and barbarous living. Mr. 
Hurley's close association with the Moros has given 
him an admiration for their indomitable courage, 
which is carried over to the reader. 



The study of man 

by Ralph Linton 

Appleton-Century, $4-00 

ANTHROPOLOGY is marked by the charac- 
teristic of every young science, in that it 
is divided within i ( - 1- 1 1 into divergent schools of 
thought. Doctor Linton feels, however, that his field 
of endeavor has reached sufficient maturity to war- 
rant a clean cut, comprehensive, and unbiased book 
that will serve both the layman and the student, as 
a well-founded introduction. 

This is what The Study of Man was intended 
to be — and what it is. The author is willing to go 
just so far with each of the warring factions — but 
he steadfastly declines to go the whole hog. He 
takes what he considers the most valuable con- 
tribution of each, and includes it in a text that 
treats accurately and fairly every aspect of An- 
thropology — human origins, the significance of 
racial differences, marriage, tribe and state, dis- 
covery and invention, orientations of culture. In 
addition he submits a new theory of race which 
corresponds more closely to the tenets of modern 
biology — and establishes a link between culture 
and animal behavior. 



T 



HE ESKIMOS 



by Kaj Birket-Smith 



E. P. Dutton, $5.00 

". . . it has been my goal to write in such a 
way that it can be understood by anybody." 

KAJ BIRKET-SMITH may have left some stone 
unturned in his treatment of The Eskimos, 
but if he did, only another expert could put a finger 
on it. 

The Danish Anthropologist discusses every as- 
pect of Eskimo life. Language, crafts, hunting 
methods, house-building, diet, taboos, religion and 
philosophy — all are portrayed in a vivid, pictorial 
style ably preserved by his translator Mr. W. E. 
Calvert. His book, amply illustrated, is truly one 
that can be understood by anybody. 

No branch of the human race, is faced with so 
severe and grudging an environment as these fur- 
clad hunters of the north. Mr. Birket-Smith ac- 
quaints you with each problem of existence as it 
presents itself to the Eskimo ; tells of the difficulties 
of sledging, how the sledge-runners are lubricated, 
and how a certain clergyman maintains that "oaths 
used when sledge-driving will not be included in 
the account on Judgment Day." He takes you into 
soot-blackened igloos, and on hunting trips where 
Eskimos travel great distances on foot and aboard 
their treacherous but silent kayaks, stalking seals 
and caribou by disguising themselves as, and emu- 
lating the actions of, these animals. 

Some of the Eskimo's habits will horrify you a 
little — the half-digested contents of a caribou's 
stomach are regarded as a delicacy — but don't feel 



YOUR NEW BOOKS 



267 



too superior, for the garments made by Eskimo 
women, are indicative of far better taste than some 
of the night-marish creations, used by Parisian cou- 
turiers to stimulate sales. 



Pride of lions 

by Bertram F. Jearey 

Longmans, Green & Co., $2.50 

"We were out to photograph, not to kill." 

IN choosing his title, B. F. Jearey shows an almost 
Shakespearian flair for double meanings. Tech- 
nically, "pride" is to lions, what "pack" is to wolves 
— and while Mr. Jearey's book most certainly is 
concerned with large numbers of lions, and teems 
with striking photographs of same, its fundamental 
concern is with pride, the human characteristic, as 
it is evinced by the king of beasts — the pardonable 
conceit that is his royal birthright. 

Mr. Jearey likes lions. They charge his automo- 
bile, make fierce war at his arm's length, stalk his 
camp at night — yet they fascinate him so much that 
he exclaims, while watching cubs devour their first 
kill, "The snarling, spitting ferocity of them was 
delightful !" 

Mr. Jearey feels that his own species have been 
too long peering at Leo through the sights of rifle 
barrels, and that such tactics do not .develop a 
true understanding of him, nor contribute toward 
a curtailment of the needless dread in which he is 
held by most humans. He suggests a more intelli- 
gent and friendly instrument of the chase, and 
proves by an astounding collection of photographic 
trophies, upheld by a brightly written text, that not 
one iota of danger, thrill, valor or exaltation, is 
removed from the lion hunt wherein the camera is 
substituted for the firearm. 

Pride of Lions, is a series of interpretative 
sketches, often witty, always entertaining — of lion 
life in particular, and animal life in general, as it 
is lived in the African Veldt. 

Its author has words of praise for Kruger Na- 
tional Park, and a message of hope that, through 
its good work, the relations between men and lions 
will in the future, be characterized less by gun and 
claw, and more by a mutual understanding and 
respect. 

The gaucho martin fierro 

--- ---by Jose Hernandez 

Translated from the Spanish by Walter Owen 

Farrar & Rinehart, $3.00 

"By the song I sang in the days gone by 
That now I sing to you." 

*npHIS Book of Verses may well be called the 
-1- national epic poem of the Argentines. The first 
part, Martin Fierro, was published in Buenos 
Aires, in 1872, the second part entitled The 



Return of Martin Fierro, appeared seven years 
afterward. The poem, alive with the earthy 
vernacular of its hero, and compelling in the pas- 
sionate realism of Hernandez's descriptive powers, 
has been rendered into English with superlative 
skill by Mr. Owen. It is the very stuff of folk- 
lore. Part one is a comprehensive depiction of 
the life and times of the Argentine Gaucho, part 
two tends more toward a portrayal of the political 
corruption and social injustices that attended the 
arrival of the age of materialism in South America. 
An age which had no evolutionary use for the 
Gaucho, and which, therefore, practically exter- 
minated him. 

In Mr. Owen's own words the poem is "... a 
tale of bygone days . . . and of a time which seems 
to keep closer measure with man's heart-beats than 
the age which has succeeded it." 

Martin Fierro was a hard fighting, hard drink- 
ing, hard riding hombre. The prototype of his kind, 
he has much in common with our own cowboy of 
fictional fame, and should easily prove as colorful 
a character as any in our vast store of frontier 
literature. 

The book had a tremendous critical success in 
England, and the first copy to leave the presses was 
accepted by Edward VIII, then Prince of Wales. 



Salar, the salmon 

--.-.-....by Henry Williamson 



Little, Brown, $2.50 

"Salmon, stream-shapen and wave-wrought, 
revealed by only a momentary bulge in the 
smooth bend of water." 

NINE years ago Henry Williamson was awarded 
the Hawthornden prize for his remarkable 
novel, Tarka, The Otter. In his new book he 
strengthens his enviable reputation as one of the 
most gifted Nature writers of our time. Salar, The 
Salmon, tells the story of the salmon, from birth to 
death. Tells it dramatically, epitomized by the life 
and death of Salar its hero. 

Mr. Williamson has literally lived among 
Salmon. There is a home-made hatchery almost at 
the doorstep of his house. He has spent days, nights, 
years patiently observing them. 

His book is an incomparable fusion of scientific 
accuracy and the gift of translating the authentic 
workings of Nature into a beautifully liquid prose. 

Salar's adventures are the adventures of all 
Salmon. He has his enemies — the blood-sucking 
lamprey, the fishermen, and man-polluted waters — 
to name a few, and his friends — Trutta, a very old 
sea trout, and Gralaks, the grisle. 

Mr. Williamson seems to know how Salar feels. 
This sympathy between hero and author is due 
partly to painstaking observation and scientific 
deduction, partly to a secret communication between 
artist and subject which makes the reading of this 
book a rare and delightful experience. 



NATURAL HISTORY, OCTOBER, 1 93 6 



The story of prophecy 

by Henry James Forman 

Farrar & Rinehart, $3.00 

"Our own crucial period, through which we 
are now passing, has been long foretold, with 
considerable detail, by a very chorus of voices 
crying in the wilderness." 

OROPHECY, as treated by Henry James Forman, 
A is not a matter of scientific calculation making 
possible the prediction of future events. It is rather, 
a mystic phenomenon manifesting itself in trance- 
like revelations to persons of unusual clairvoyance. 
The Story of Prophecy is an historical study of pre- 
dictions made throughout the centuries. The author 
recalls the importance of the Delphic Oracle of 
classical times, and the astrologers of the middle 
ages. He cites numerous examples of prophecies 
which have been fulfilled, both in the case of in- 
dividuals, and of nations. Records indicate that 
there were at least twenty prophets of the French 
Revolution, making their predictions in considerable 
detail, at a time three centuries prior to the event. 

Prophecies of a very real interest to the present- 
day reader are allegedly inherent in the structure 
of the Great Pyramid of Cheops. Constructed at 
about 2900 B. C, it preserves in its mathematical 
dimensions and proportions, all of the scientific 
knowledge of Ancient Egypt, together with an 
elaborate prophecy of world events from Biblical 
times until the year 2001 A. D. Mr. Forman enu- 
merates many of the prophecies of the pyramid, 
as deciphered by a vast contemporary school of 
"pyramidologists" who attribute great significance 
to the revelations of ancient Egyptians. The latter 
sections of the book are devoted to a description of 
these and other prophecies relating to the immediate 
future of the world today. All evidence seems to 
point to the conclusion that the greatest prophecies 
have been directed toward our own era, that the 
Pyramid of Cheops was constructed for the espe- 
cial purpose of revealing knowledge to the world 
of the Twentieth Century, A. D., and that we are 
now about to enter an age of great awakening 
and glorious intellectual and material expansion. 
Mr. Forman brings our day even further into the 
limelight by saying. "To many prophets and in 
numerous prophecies, the year 1936 marks a great 
turning point in human life and in human destiny." 
Optimistically, he shows that this turning point is 
the initial step toward a new golden age. 

In evaluating the significance of this wealth of 
prophecy, the author points out that in our civiliza- 
tion, most people do not admit that they believe in 
prophecy. However, he remarks, "A little closer 
inquiry will lead the reader, as it has led the 
writer, to conclude that almost everyone believes 
in prophecy — with the possible exception of the 
average scientist." Despite a lack of scientific cre- 
dentials and after careful consideration of the 
material at hand, your reviewer stands pat — num- 
bering himself among the infidels. 



Skyway to asia 

....... by William Stephen Grooch 

Longmans, Green, $2.50 

"// you've never looked a ten-foot shark in the 
eye at close range, you've missed a thrill." 

PERHAPS the most fascinating thing about this 
book is its jacket. 

Mr. Grooch's publishers have really outdone 
themselves in the fine art of giving a volume eye- 
appeal on the display-shelf. Not that the book itself 
isn't worth your while. It is. But that jacket is a 
handicap. The book has never been written that 
wouldn't have a hard time living up to it. 

Skyward to Asia, is a rollicking, breezy account 
of the first North Haven Expedition, sent forth by 
Pan American Airways to establish commercial air 
bases across the Pacific Ocean. Mr. Grooch, aviator 
and ex-navy man, was in charge of the expedition 
which established stepping stones for the clipper 
ships at Midway, Wake, and Guam Islands. His 
is a personal record, not an official one and he 
writes it with verve, skill, and abundant humor. 
Many difficulties had to be surmounted en route. 
Supplies were delayed, hands were mashed han- 
dling the heavy machinery, wells had to be dug — 
but all in all, when you have finished it, your 
temptation will be to look out at the city's street 
and sigh. 

Mr. Grooch has an eye for Nature too. He de- 
scribes the birds, fish and wild life . . . that thrive 
in these islands — his observations on the Gooney 
and the Hermit crab being particularly noteworthy. 

Seventy years of it 

......--by Edward Alsworth Ross 

Appleton-Century, $3.00 

"7 learned the inexorable properties of things" 
— "if you don't tackle them as they really are, 
you are never able to manage them.' 

CfEVENTY YEARS OF IT is the autobiography 
*-3 of one of the country's most out-spoken educators, 
Professor Ross of the University of Wisconsin's de- 
partment of Sociology. 

All his life he fought for the things he believed 
in, hated deceit, and bowed only to the goddess of 
truth to whom his life's work is dedicated. 

His book is one of the most ruggedly honest 
achievements that has come along in many a day 
and expresses in a full-flavored, incisive style, a 
liberal's outlook on the world at large. 

Mr. Ross has explored China. He has traveled 
South America, Mexico, South Africa, India — and 
was dispatched to Russia shortly after the revolu- 
tion, by the American Institute of Social Service. 

In his autobiography, he has set down an im- 
partial sociologist's keen observations on everything 
that came beneath his gaze and has taken sides 
courageously in many of the controversies, with 
which our country is faced today. 



YOUR NEW BOOKS 



269 



The mammals and life zones 

OF OREGON by Vernon Bailey 

Superintendent of Documents, 
Washington, D. C, $-75 

THIS book is a four hundred and sixteen-page 
illustrated report, by Vernon Bailey, who was 
retired in 1933, after forty-six years of active work 
for the Biological Survey. 

The object of the book is not only to provide as 
full information as possible, but also to give an im- 
petus that will enable others to go ahead with 
future studies, until far better means for under- 
standing, appreciating, managing, and controlling 
our native fauna are attained. 

NOVITATES 
No. 877. Notes on the Anatomy of the Viscera of 



the Giant Panda (Ailuropoda melano- 
leuca). By H. C. Raven. 
No. 888. On the Phylogenetic Relationships of the 
Giant Panda (Ailuropoda) to Other 
Arctoid Carnivora. By William K. 
Gregory. 

BULLETIN 

Vol. LXXII, Art. I. — Further Notes on the Gigantic 
Extinct Rhinoceros, Baluchitherium, from 
the Oligocene of Mongolia. By Walter 
Granger and William K. Gregory. 

Vol. LXXII, Art. II.— Some Features of the Cra- 
nial Morphology of the Tapinocephalid 
Deinocephalians. By Lieuwe D. Boonstra. 

Vol. LXXII, Art. III.— The Cranial Morphology 
of Some Titanosuchid Deinocephalians. 
By Lieuwe D. Boonstra. 

Vol. LXXII, Art. IV.— Hyraxes Collected by the 
American Museum Congo Expedition. 
By Robert T. Hatt. 



Science in the Field 
and in the Laboratory 

Birds of the Alps — Animals from Colorado — Pacific 
Pearls — -Lectures on Gems. 



Harry Snyder Colorado Expedition, 1936 
George G. Goodwin, Assistant Curator, Depart- 
ment of Mammals, returns from field work in Colo- 
rado, bringing back over 300 specimens. He visited 
high regions on the western slopes of the Rocky 
Mountains in northern Colorado, and carried on 
work in three different types of country. His first 
camp was in sagebrush and arid regions; later, he 
camped on the open rolling range country above 
timberline at 10,000 feet, and his last camp was in 
timber country at 8000 feet, near Trappers Lake. 
He brought back specimens of the coney from the 
rock slides on the mountain tops. Specimens of the 
rare water shrew from the cascading mountain 
streams — these little creatures, no more than two 
inches long — rank high among the best swimmers 
of the non-marine animals. They can swim, dive, 
float, run along the bottom of a pool or creek, and 
actually walk on the surface of the water. He also 
brought back specimens of the pigmy vole, from 
the high, dry, mountain ranges, 13 striped and 
spotted spermophiles, golden mantle chipmunk, 
badger, long-tailed weasel, jumping or kangaroo 
mice — queer little animals that sit upon their hind 
legs and jump like kangaroos — and other species. 
Mr. Goodwin's research work was carried on 
under diversified conditions. He experienced the 



torrid heat and drought, cloudbursts and forest 
fires, dust storms that blotted out the landscapes — 
and the beautiful, clear air of the summit of the 
Rocky Mountain tops. He lectured at the Women's 
Club in Meeker, and entertained the local people 
with two showings of motion pictures at the theater. 
This collection, along with specimens he brought 
back in January from Colorado, brings to the 
Museum a good representation of all the mammals 
in summer and winter coats found in that region. 

New Size and Title for 

Planetarium Bulletin 

The Hayden Planetarium publication, The Drama 

of the Sky, will change to a larger size beginning 

with the November issue which will be entitled 

The Sky. 

New York Academy of Sciences' 
New Quarters 
The American Museum has furnished the New 
York Academy of Sciences with new and spacious 
quarters located on the fourth floor of the Roosevelt 
Memorial Hall. There is ample room for about one 
hundred members to convene, as well as equipment 
for illustrated lectures. 



270 



NATURAL HISTORY, OCTOBER, 1 936 



MUSEUM 

ANIMAL 

THEATRES 




See what the famous explorers 
saw in Africa and India! Power- 
ful lions, chattering gorillas, 
swift tigers, trumpeting ele- 
phants. It's a thrilling education 
to look into JUNGLE TRAILS! 

Materials for making these 
FOUR THEATRES— lions, 
tigers, gorillas and elephants — 
come in one big box for a dollar. 
Also you'll find in the box, maps 
and a brief story of each group. 
Scores of jungle scenes and com- 
binations can be staged with real 
life effect! 

Sold only in sets of four for 
$1.00. Including postage, east 
of Chicago, $1.14. Including 
postage, west of Chicago, in- 
cluding all of U. S. posses- 
sions, $1.32. 

Address all orders to 
THE BOOKSHOP 

THE AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY 

77th Street and Central Park West - New York City 



Dr. Miner's Expedition for Pearl 
Fisheries Group 

The serrated mountain! above Honolulu'c beau- 
tiful harbor glistened in the sun a- the steamer 
Lurlinc ended her voyage from Ban Pram 
September 3rd. Among the passengers crowding 

her deck- were Dr. K. \\\ Miner, Curator of Living 
Invertebrates al the American Mu-turn, and 
Messrs. Ws llys Belts and Chris Olsen his assistant*. 

'I'lirj wire accorded the celebrated effusive wel- 
come of Hawaii, were lavishly photographed in 
floral garlands, and were later met by Mr. Fred 
Smyth, Museum Bursar, and Mr. Templeton 
('nicker, under whose auspices Doctor Miner and 
his staff are conducting an expedition to collect im- 
portant material for the Pearl Fisheries Group in 
the Hall of Ocean Life, at the Museum. 

This expedition left Honolulu, September 7th 
aboard the boat '/.(tea which maintains a fully 
equipped laboratory. Christinas Island, about 1200 
miles southwest of Honolulu, is the lirst port of call. 
From this point, it is planned to visit Penrbyn Is- 
land, Pago-pago, Apia in British Samoa, and on 
the return trip to stop off at Fanning Island. The 
expedition took five brass boxes of different types 
to be used in an extensive program of underwater 
photography, which, it is hoped will add consid- 
erably to the knowledge of underseas life. 

If all goes well, the expedition will disband at 
Honolulu on the 13th or 14th of November. 

Free Lectures on Gems 

The American Museum will offer a free course 
of four informal talks on "The Appreciation of 
Gems," by Herbert P. Whitlock, Curator of Min- 
erals and Gems. 

The series and dates are — "The Story of the 
Jade: I," on Saturday, October 24th, at 4:00 P.M. 
"The Story of the Jade: II," Saturday, October 31st, 
at 4:00 P.M. "Amber and Near-Amber," on Satur- 
day, November 7th, and "The Work of the Lapi- 
daries of Imperial Russia," on November 14th, at 
the same time. 

PROBOSCIDA, Volume I. Henry Fairfield Os- 

born's Last Work. 

For many years before his death on November 6, 
1935, Dr. Osborn was engaged upon this mono- 
graphic revision of all known fossil and existing 
species of Proboscidea (mammals of the elephant 
tribe, usually provided with a proboscis, or trunk). 

At the time of his death the greater part of 
Volume I, was already in type, but there was still 
a great deal to be done: many drawings and maps 
had to be made; there was much to add to the text 
and to the appendix from the author's later notes; 
the bibliography, table of contents, list of illustra- 
tions, etc., had to be completed ; finally the whole 
volume had to be virtually reset and corrected. 

Volume II, still awaits completion from the ma- 
terials left by the author; but it is hoped that it will 
be published within the coming year (1937). 

This work is assuredly one of the greatest docu- 
ments bearing on the evolution of the mammals. 



SCIENCE IN THE FIELD AND IN THE LABORATORY 



271 



New Alpine Bird Group 

A new addition to the magnificent Hall of the 
Birds of the World in the American Museum of 
Natural History — depicting bird-life of the high 
Alps — was opened to the public on Sunday, Sep- 
tember 13th. The group, given to the Museum 
by Mrs. Carll Tucker, contains no less than twenty- 
one species of birds shown in an Alpine scene of 
trees, shrubs and flowers which is as artistically 
beautiful as it is scientifically correct. The spectator 
is transported to the upper slope of Riffelalps at 
timberline. In the background the snow-clad peak 
of Matterhorn pierces the sky. 

Dr. Ernst Mayr of the Museum's Department of 
Birds, which is headed by Dr. Frank M. Chapman, 
selected the locality for the exhibit as well as the 
bird-life presented in it. 

The group was designed and the background 
painted by Francis Lee Jaques from field studies 
made by him in July, 1935. At that time, he also 
collected the accessories for the foreground. The 
preparation and installation of these accessories was 
done by George E. Petersen under the supervision 
of Albert E. Butler, Associate Chief Arts, Prepara- 
tion and Installation, Dr. James L. Clark, Director. 
The birds were mounted by Raymond Potter. 

"Birds are not abundant in the high Alps," said 
Dr. Frank M. Chapman, in explaining the group. 
"But those that are there tell a story of the remote 
past which forms an important contribution to our 
knowledge of the geologic history of these 
mountains. 



"The upper, or Alpine zones of high mountains 
are like islands in the air. Many of the animals and 
plants inhabiting them are as effectively isolated 
by the warmer climate below them as though they 
were indeed occupants of oceanic isles. It seems evi- 
dent, therefore, that they have reached their pres- 
ent homes under conditions which no longer exist 
and their presence, consequently, often gives us a 
clue to their origin and the geologic history of their 
habitat. 

"When, therefore, we find such Himalayan birds 
as the Wall Creeper and the Snowfinch in the high 
Alps we realize that they doubtless reached there 
over the mountain highway that in the Tertiary 
Period connected Asia with western Europe. Pos- 
sibly the rhododendrons of the Alps followed the 
same route. 

"So also the Arctic Ptarmigan and the Redpoll 
doubtless came to the Alps when the ice cap of the 
Glacial Period extended as far south as central 
Europe. Finding a congenial home at a high alti- 
tude they remained there when the ice retreated. 
Other birds in the group have extended their range 
from the Palaearctic Zone at the base of the moun- 
tain upward to timberline. From this level they 
may retire to lower levels in the winter or they 
may migrate southward to Africa, such as do the 
House Martin, Wheatear, Black Redstart, Mistle- 
Thrush and Cuckoo." 

The Museum staff feels that this exhibit is one 
of the finest yet offered to the public, and intends 
to maintain this standard in all forthcoming 
displays. 




Bird-Life — Of The Palaearctic Alpine Zone 

A view of the Zermatt valley and the Matterhorn, in 
Switzerland, from an altitude of 7000 feet at timberline. 



272 



NATURAL HISTORY, OCTOBER, 1 936 



Penguins in Captivity 
The Emperor Penguins obtained for the Chicago 
Zoological Society by the Second Byrd Antarctic 
Expedition have all died of a respiratory disease 
in the Society's park at Brookfield. This latest al 
tempt to maintain in captivity the most southerly 
breeding bird in the world has thus led to the same 
results as all previous experiments, 

With many other species of penguins, however, 
success has been much more marked, though less so 
in America than in Germany and Great Britain, 
Well deserved good fortune, for example, has 
crowned the long efforts of Mr. T. II. Gillespie, 
Director of the Zoological Society of Scotland, at 
Edinburgh, This summer Mr. Gillespie has under 
his charge 160 penguins representing five species, 
and a goodly number of these birds are one or 
two generations removed from their wild ancestors. 
King Penguins, Gentoo Penguins, and South 
African Penguins have been bred in captivity at 
Edinburgh for several years. During 1935, the 
first Rockhopper Penguin was hatched and reared. 
A Ringed or Antarctic Penguin also came through 
the incubation period and broke out of its shell, 
although it survived thereafter only four days. 
During the present season the adult Ringed Pen- 
guins have been nesting and sitting again and 
better luck is hoped for. 

Mr. Gillespie writes that with 35 healthy King 
Penguins and an even larger number of Gentoos 
and Rockhoppers, he would gladly sell or effect 
exchanges with institutions in America eager to 
obtain well acclimated penguins. — R. C. M. 



PARENTS/ 

A Magazine for 

the J union oi the famil) 

THE JUNIOR NATURAL HISTORY 



• ( reatures ol the forest! and meadows 

• I ndersea and bird life 

• Pi irnilk e peoples 

• Museum and Zoo ne« - 

All are featured in this entertaining and 
attractive magazine, for children of all ages. 
Profusely illustrated. 



$1.00 the year 



N.iied MontbK 



Address Membership Department, American Mn 
scum, 77th Street and Central 1'ark West, Nei 
York, \. Y. 




N AT URAL 
HISTORY 



JUNIOR 
NATURAL 
HISTORY 



Will be on sale at 

Doublcduy, Doran Book Shop, IS Adams Air., West, Detroit, Mich. 

DOVBLEDAY, DORAN BOOK SHOPS, Inc. 

New York — Philadelphia — Detroit — Chicago — St. Louis — Syracuse — Springfield. Mass. 



SCIENCE IN THE FIELD AND IN THE LABORATORY 



273 



RECENTLY 
ELECTED 
MEMBERS 



SINCE the last issue of Natural History, the fol- 
lowing persons have been elected members of 
the American Museum: 

Annual Members 
Miss Mary C. Wheelwright 

Doctors Aaron Bodansky, Minerva Blair Pontius 
Colonel H. S. Hansell 

Messrs. Charles Bellinger, Clarence M. Clark, Bobb 
Schaeffer, Harley L. Stowell, H. J. Wolff 

Associate Members 
Mesdames John Alden, Henry Bittman, Marvin 
Hughitt Frost, M. H. Rabanus, N. P. Rasmussen, 
I. Zadek. 

Misses Dorothy Cooke, Lela G. Cross, Emma Eddy, 
Mabel Carleton Gage, Jean Garland, Eleanor 
R. N. Hoover, Ida Hunneman, Brenda Kuhn, 
Evelyn Macartney, Mary Mulligan, Bertha M. 
Peterson, Mabel A. Shields, Naomi Tenenholtz. 

Doctors E. A. Duncan, Jonathan H. Ranney, George 
C. Williamson. 

Colonel W. G. Schauffler, Jr. 

Senator W. Warren Barbour. 

Messrs. Shalom Altman, Gordon Haggott Beckhart, 
O. Brederode, Andrew Christie, Duncan Cran- 
ford, C. R. Culver-Whitlock, John W. Cuter, 
Paul P. Dinant, Wm. E. Greenleaf, Milton Gross, 
Harvey Harvey, Clement Heaton, Robert Hess, 
J..S. Holliday, Frederick Jacobv, Olney E. Kehn, 
Jos. P. Kerrigan, Robert Lynch, Joseph McKell, 
Roswell O. Moore, Eugene G. Munroe, William 
A. Richter, Simpson M. Ritter, G. H. Shiner, 
George F. Truell, L. F. Turner, Robert Walker, 
Robert G. Webb, Wm. Redwood Wright. 



23 LANGUAGES 



Speak FRENCH or any other 
modern language in a. few 
months by LINGUAPHONE 
Unique method brings voices 
of native masters into your own 
home. Call for demonstration or 
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ROCKEFELLER CENTER ■ NEW YORK 



274 



A LIBRARY 
OF INFORMATION 

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steel increases the strength of the 
steel by at least 125%? Do you 
know that Monel (% nickel and V3 
copper) is 300% tougher than ordi- 
nary steel? . . . that Monel is resis- 
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Questions like these constantly 
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"List 2 A" and "List 2B" catalog 
all the technical papers, illustrat- 
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To obtain these lists— just write 
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NATURAL HISTORY, OCTOBER, 1 936 



[SFF PAGE 35 






NATURAL 
HISTORY 



NOVEMBER 1936 FIFTY CENTS 







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MUSEUM 

ANIMAL 

THEATRES 




See what the famous explorers 
saw in Africa and India! Power- 
ful lions, chattering gorillas, 
swift tigers, trumpeting ele- 
phants. It's a thrilling education 
to look into JUNGLE TRAILS! 

Materials for making these 
FOUR THEATRES— lions, 
tigers, gorillas and elephants — 
come in one big box for a dollar. 
Also you'll find in the box, maps 
and a brief story of each group. 
Scores of jungle scenes and com- 
binations can be staged with real 
life effect! 

Sold only in sets of four for 
$1.00. Including postage, east 
of Chicago, $1.14. Including 
postage, west of Chicago, in- 
cluding all of U. S. posses- 
sions, $1.32. 

Addreu til orders to 
THE BOOKSHOP 



THE AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY 

77th Streel and Central Paik West New York City 



NATURAL HISTORY 

The Magazine of the American Museum of Natural History 
VOLUME XXXVIII * * * * NOVEMBEB I"*36 



Early Alan's Conception of the Horse ('.•,; er I >• tign 

Designed by Charles Curtis. Hulling (Set pagt 

Example of the Horse in Grecian Art Frontispiea 276 

Horses and History George Gaylord Simpson 277 

The story of the horse (rum earliest times 

"Relief" in the Sub-Arctic Philip H. Godsell 289 

The tragic economic story «/ the Northern Indians 

The Meteor Craters in Estonia Clyde Fisher 292 

"Footprints" left by visitors from miter space 

Stardust Hubert J. Bemhard 300 

November's celestial "fireworks": the Leonid Showers 

Bark Cloth from Africa Lucy Pope Cullen 3o4 

Profile of a primitive clothier 

More Fun with Sharks Col. Hugh D. Wise 311 

The crowning episodes of a shark fisher's long experience 

The History of the Valley of Mexico George C. Vaillant 324 

Down an ancient trail which leads to the origin, of Aztec culture and art 

Rolling Down to Mexico Charles Coles 341 

A photographic journey along the new motor road 

Bird Courtship H. N. Southern 349 

Do the male's fine feathers attract the mate he wishes to •win? 

The Indoor Explorer D. R. Barton 353 

Your New Books 355 

Science in the Field and in the Laboratory 359 

Looking into Mexico 363 



Publication Office: American Museum of Subscriptions. Natural History is sent to all 

Natural History, Seventy-ninth Street at Cen- members of the American Museum as one of 

tral Park West, New York, N. Y. the privileges of membership. Membership 

_ ,. Supervisor, Charles J. O'Connor. 
Editorial: Edward M. Weyer, Jr., Ph.D., Edi- 
tor; D. R. Barton, Frederick L. Hahn. Advertising: Sherman P. Voorhees, The Amer- 
ican Museum of Natural History. 
Manuscripts should be sent to the Editor, 
The American Museum of Natural History, Copyright, 1936, by The American Museum 
New York, N. Y. of Natural History, New York, N. Y. 




Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art 



Horses and History 



The story of the horse from earliest times: his place in war, 
peace and sport; and his claims to a lasting position as man 's ally 



By George Gaylord Simpson 



"When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he 
trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; 
the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the 
pipe of Hermes . . . his neigh is like the bidding of 
a monarch and his countenance enforces homage." 
(Shakespeare). 

Before the dawn of history the thunder 
of flying hooves sounded among the 
green valleys of Gaul, across the broad 
steppes of the Volga, and the Caspian, and 
over the plateaus and the deserts of Tartary. 
That ancient singing of hooves, like the clash 
of distant cymbals, was to mingle with the 
voices of men and to go echoing down the 
long corridors of history. Indeed it was to be 
history, for the horse was to carry on his back 
the fates of nations and the hopes of civiliza- 
tion. When, in the course of our rise in won- 
der and in pain from our brute ancestors, 
primitive man first crept silently along shaded 
paths stalking dun and shaggy wild ponies, he 
created a partnership that was to help shape 
the destinies of both man and beast forever 
after. Hawk-like Arabs, fierce Tartars, mail- 
clad chevaliers, little yellow men and lean 
red men, innumerable hosts, were to woo the 
horse and to live with him and by him. 

It is true that when horse and man first 
came in contact the beginning was conflict and 
not partnership. To the cave man, horses were 
big game and not companions or allies. At 

(Left) A splendid, example of the Gre- 
cian aesthetic conception of the horse, dat- 
ing from near the close of the Athenian 
Empire. Although mediocre horsemen, 
the cultured Athenians saw in the horse 
an artistic ideal 



Solutre, in France, one of the places where the 
histories of men and of horses first begin to 
unite into one twisted thread, there is a great 
pile of debris left by cave men who lived 
toward the close of the Great Ice Age, and 
that pile consists very largely of the broken 
bones of horses. There are thousands upon 
thousands of these bones — it is sometimes esti- 
mated that they represent nearly a hundred 
thousand horses — and it is evident that all 
these animals were eaten. From that time on 
(and probably from a date still more remote) 
there is evidence that horse-flesh was an im- 
portant element in Stone Age diet, sometimes 
almost the only source of food. Perhaps partly 
for amusement but surely also for magical 
reasons, these remote ancestors of ours were 
given to portraying the animals important to 
them, and among these vivid portraits still pre- 
served are dozens of horses, small statuettes, 
engravings on bone and ivory, and paintings 
on the walls of caverns. Some of these repre- 
sentations have seldom been surpassed in artis- 
tic spirit and, although all are to some extent 
stylized, many are so accurate that we can 
identify the exact race of wild horse intended. 
Most of them were closely similar to the only 
true wild horses left in the world today: the 
horse of the Gobi usually called Prjevalsky's 
horse. 

Domestication 

There is, however, no conclusive evidence 
that the men of the Stone Ages ever domesti- 
cated the horse, although their use of horses 
as food and their keen interest and observa- 
tion may properly be considered as the first 
step that was to lead to domestication. When 
and where domestication first took place, or 
indeed whether it did not occur at more than 



HORSES AND HISTORY 



277 



one time and more than one place, may never 
be exactly known, but we may infer that it 
was probably somewhere in central Asia and 
around 4000 B. C. Horses first appear in 
regular, written history between 2000 and 
1500 B. C. The use of horses was then known 
in China, apparently from painful contact 
with the wild hordes of central Asia who were 
then already mounted, and also in western 
Asia and the Mediterranean. 

There is still extant an Egyptian song of 
Rameses II, about 1350 B. C, in which highly 
developed use of horses in war is shown. "I 
am to them like Baal in his season," the king 
is made to boast, "their twenty-five hundred 
chariots are hacked to pieces before my steed." 
The common and abundant use of horse- 
drawn vehicles surely implies a long previous 
history of domestication, and indeed there is 
reason to believe that horses were known to 
both Egyptians and Babylonians long before 
this time, but it was only after 1500 B. C. that 
they became generally diffused in this area. 
Even then for a long period these civilized and 
sedentary people used the horse almost ex- 
clusively for military purposes and then almost 
entirely for drawing chariots. True cavalry 
was for them a late development and one to 
which they never became entirely adapted. 

A dark horse 

When horses thus first appeared on the 
western scene, there is little doubt that some 
of them, at least, had been ridden into the light 
of history out of the darkness of interior Asia, 
carrying barbarian raiders and nomads. The 
common type of barbarian horse, then as now, 
was similar to the cave man's prey and to the 
wild horses of Eurasia, dun-colored animals, 
not much over 13 hands high (4' 4") with 
short legs and large, coarse heads. At almost 
the same time, however, there appeared a very 
different sort of horse, likewise small by later 
standards, but dark in color (typically bay), 
delicate and fleet in build, with sensitive heads. 
There is no agreement as to the ultimate 
origin of these horses, but when they first ap- 
pear they seem to be typical of northern 
Africa. Like so much supposedly dry ancient 
history, these facts are not really remote from 
our own lives. The blood of these dark horses 
flows now in the veins of every race-horse, 
polo-pony, hunter, and even of our more pro- 



saic cart and plow horses. Apart from this, 
their appearance and their spread have re- 
peatedly been a decisive influence in history. 
Were it not for them, our lives would now be 
profoundly different. 

The Libyans or Numidians had such horses 
from a very early date, and not long after the 
first extensive use of horses in Egypt, the 
Egyptians were levying a tribute of horses on 
the nomad tribes to the west of them. The 
Libyans had chariots and are credited with the 
invention of the four-horse team, but they also 
and more commonly rode on horseback, and 
this before other Mediterranean nations habit- 
ually mounted. These horsemen were ex- 
tremely mobile and swift and their light horses 
served them well, for the people themselves 
were slender and they reduced incidental 
weight to an absolute minimum. Greek paint- 
ings of about 600 B. C. show the Libyans, both 
men and women, riding astride, bareback, and 
themselves nude. In these paintings the horses 
have bridles, but later authors describe naked 
Numidians on unbridled horses, so that both 
steeds and riders performed in a complete state 
of nature. 

The more civilized peoples of the eastern 
Mediterranean bred larger horses than either 
of the main purer stocks, Asiatic and north 
African, and in Persia and elsewhere lines of 
heavier crossbred animals arose. For develop- 
ing and improving the qualities of these horses, 
the African stock was eagerly sought, and we 
find large sums being paid to the Egyptians for 
these blooded horses which they, in turn, seem 
to have derived from the Libyans. This cross- 
ing of Libyan horses, analogous to the Arabians 
of later times, with sturdier but slower north- 
ern animals is exactly the same process as has 
given us our thoroughbreds, and indeed almost 
all the breeds important in European history. 
This type of breeding arose several centuries 
before Christ, and, incidentally, before the 
Arabs had any horses. 

In Greek art 

The best horses of the Greeks are portrayed 
in the sculptures executed by Phidias for the 
Parthenon, and evidently were cross-bred 
horses of the type just described. Modern 
breeders remark that these stallions have 
numerous bad points and would have been 
hopeless in competition with our thorough- 
breds, but the comparison is hardly fair and 



278 



NATURAL HISTORY, NOVEMBER, 1 93 6 



our thoroughbreds would undoubtedly have 
been considered second-rate by the Greeks. At 
any rate, they and their neighbors had suc- 
ceeded in producing mounts that were strong 
enough to carry a well accoutred warrior, 
considerably heavier than the slender Numid- 
ians with nothing on before and rather less 
than that behind, and at the same time fast 
enough to compete with the smaller breeds of 
that epoch. Whatever one may think of this 
more practical aspect of the matter, the Greeks 
must have loved horses and these sculptures 
are among the most beautiful things ever cre- 
ated by the hands of man. Their lovely, simple 
lines, the rich and flawless texture, their sure 
achievement, and their lively and sometimes 
almost humorous spirit are all incomparably 
fine. Had horses never done anything for man 
but to serve as models for these works of art, 
they would yet deserve an honorable place in 
the history of the human soul. 

Despite this evident love of horse-flesh and 
the presence of numerous well-bred horses 
throughout the Golden Age of Greece, neither 
the Greeks nor the Romans after them were 
really great horsemen. They developed cavalry, 
but as fighters they were usually at their best 
on foot. Some of the Greek and Roman so- 
called cavalry was, indeed, really mounted in- 
fantry, for on several occasions we read that 
the soldiers rode to the battlefield but dis- 
mounted to fight. The horse was not an inti- 
mate part of the daily life of the whole people, 
nor even an irreplaceable element in their 
civilization. This has generally been true of 
the more sedentary races, and was particularly 
true of the nations of antiquity for with them 
the horse was seldom used as a work animal, 
donkeys and oxen usually occupying this es- 
sential economic position. The man who could 
afford to keep a horse as a luxury in times of 
peace and to raise him above the ruck of the 
battlefield in times of war had already before 
the sixth century B. C. become a privileged 
aristocrat. 

A sign of rank 

"The air and gracefulness of sitting a 
Horse," says Don Quixote, "makes gentlemen 
of some and grooms of others," and so it has 
been throughout most of European history. 
From the Hippeis of ancient Greece to the 
Chevalier, Caballero, or Cavalier of today, the 
man on the horse is the gentleman, the aristo- 



crat, and the man on his own feet can only 
look up, admire and obey. It is the horse that 
makes the man. Most of the old privileges of 
equestrians have worn thin in this mechanical 
age, but the habits of twenty-five centuries die 
hard, and who can deny that even now the 
horseman is something special, a man apart, or 
indeed more than a mere man? The man who 
owns a horse, especially if it is a horse that he 
does not need for any useful purpose, quite 
rightly feels himself to be in a distinctive class, 
and is so considered not only by fellow eques- 
trians but also by the humble pedestrian. This 
is a relic of the ages when good riding horses 
were much harder to obtain than good motor 
cars are now, gave their owners a much 
greater advantage over the rabble, and were the 
invariable touchstone of aristocracy. Even the 
mounted policeman of today inherits a mantle 
of command and authority from the knights 
and nobles of old, and inspires a respect not 
granted to his motorized or unmounted 
fellows. 

Chariots vs. cavalry 

The development of good riding horses led 
to the decline of the chariot, and of horse- 
drawn vehicles generally, among the Mediter- 
ranean nations. While horses were then still 
principally an adjunct of war, it soon appeared 
that a chariot corps could not successfully- 
combat well-trained cavalry, and the chariot 
became secondary in importance, was diverted 
to other uses, and finally disappeared alto- 
gether. The development of wagons and car- 
riages used for transporting freight and people 
seems to have been largely independent of the 
rise and fall of the chariot. The Scythians, 
who lived in wagons and were apparently 
among the first to use them, were great horse- 
men who had both chariot and riding horses in 
abundance, but their wagons were drawn by 
oxen, and there is much other evidence that 
the horse's demotion to a beast of burden or a 
work animal was usually secondary. In central 
and northern Europe the use of the chariot 
survived longer than around the Mediterran- 
ean, and there is some evidence that the use of 
the horse as a work animal is older there. The 
survival of the war-chariot has been ascribed 
to the small size of the native European horse, 
and we know that the Gauls were eager to 
obtain Mediterranean horses for breeding and 
that they did eventually develop effective 



HORSES AND HISTORY 



279 



cavalry. By that time the horse was already 
their work animal, also, to an extent that to 
this day is not true of the Mediterranean 
countries. 

Chariot racing 

Long after the chariot had begun to decline 
as a useful implement, its use was kept up at 
Rome for racing, for which the Roman popu- 
lace had an excessive passion. The four racing 
factions, which had their colors like those of a 
racing stable today, spent enormous amounts 
on these races and the charioteers were pro- 
fessionals, some of whom were as famous as 
any athletic world champion is today. The 
horses were mostly of Libyan blood. Chariot 
racing had, indeed, been a leading sport of the 
whole Mediterranean area for centuries before 
this, and racing with a ridden horse was begun 
at Olympia in 648 B. C. The winners of the 
great races were heroes beyond compare, and 
the horses themselves were feted and commem- 
orated in monuments and on coins. Poets sung 
their praises, and no channel swimmer ever 
received greater ovations from the people. At 
Olympia there were not only chariot races and 
mounted horse races, but also mule-car races. 
It seems probable that the first time there 
were ever two horsemen at one place, the re- 
sult was a race. All tribes and nations who ride 
horses at all run races on them, and almost as 
invariably there is some gambling on the out- 
come, from Patagonia to Mongolia and from 
New York to Shanghai. This is one element 
in the relationship between horse and man 
that is universal, and will probably be the last 
to disappear. 

Even the use of horses for pure diversion, 
as in our circuses, is ancient in origin, for we 
read in Pliny that the Sybarites had trained 
their horses to dance to music at banquets. 
This feat was their downfall, however, for in 
510 B.C. when they sallied forth on horse- 
back to fight the wily Crotonians, the latter 
played the horses' dance music on flutes. The 
Sybarite horses danced and their riders were 
unseated and utterly routed. 

Although the Greeks and Romans thus had 
all the elements of horse culture that have 
characterized the whole of European history, 
the fact that they were not great horsemen as 
a race was in each case an important element 
in their downfall. Macedonian dominance 
over the Greek cities can be largely ascribed 

280 



to superior cavalry, and the struggles of both 
Greece and Rome with the nations of the 
Near East, time after time bringing them to 
the verge of ruin, were prolonged if not made 
possible by the eastern superiority as horse- 
men, despite inferiority in most other respects. 
Rome's bitter struggle with northern Africa 
was long dragged out by the better mounted, 
harder riding African troops. Rome did, how- 
ever, draw auxiliary cavalry from this same 
region that saved the Roman army at least 
once during the early invasions of Gaul. The 
Gauls, also, seem to have been superior to the 
Romans in cavalry tactics, although at first 
they were not so well mounted. Finally when 
the barbarians swept down on Rome, they 
were mounted on the best war horses then 
known and they were superb horsemen. 
Rome's decline and fall, for which so many 
causes have been advanced, can also be im- 
puted in considerable part to horses. 

Arabian a late arrival 

It is a curious fact that while horses were 
playing a dominant part in the ancient history 
of the Mediterranean, the Arabian horse, 
which was to become the most famous and im- 
portant in the world, did not yet exist as such. 
There is no evidence that the Arabs or allied 
Semitic tribes had any horses before the Chris- 
tian era, although they already had camels. 
During the first few centuries after Christ, no 
one knows exactly when or how, some particu- 
larly potent strains of horses were introduced 
among the Arabs. These animals were for a 
long time few in number and their possession 
was confined to a few prominent men or 
families, but the stock was carefully perpetu- 
ated and increased so that by the time of 
Mohammed the Arabs had acquired great skill 
as horsemen and also a stock of phenomenally 
fine horses. 

It would be difficult to overemphasize the 
historical importance of these Arabian horses. 
During the many long centuries of struggle 
for dominance in the eastern Mediterranean 
and western Asia, the Arabs had managed to 
hold their own in their sandswept deserts, but 
they had never been a source of danger to the 
surrounding lands. Thus they might have re- 
mained until the end of time except for horses 
and Mohammed. Mohammed preached the doc- 
trine of Allah and fired the holy war; he also 

NATURAL HISTORY, NOVEMBER, 1 93 6 



preached horses. "Every grain of barley given 
to a horse is entered by God in the Register 
of Good Works," says the Koran to the horse- 
man, and to the horse: "Thy back shall be a 
seat of honor and thy belly of riches." Mo- 
hammed's followers mounted their horses and 
rode off to conquer the world. The story of 
that conquest could almost be written in terms 
of horses rather than of men. 

Mohammedan horsemen outclassed 

The turning point came on the plains of 
Poictiers in 732. The Saracens had swept 
across northern Africa, had conquered Spain, 
had swarmed over the Pyrenees, reduced Bor- 
deaux to ashes, and ravaged Aquitania. Their 
horses were galloping onward and European 
civilization was threatened with extinction. At 
Poictiers the lithe Moslems on light, swift 
Arabian and Barbary horses were opposed by 
the more sturdy Franks, clad in mail, and car- 
ried by the great European battle horses. The 
Saracens could not break the solid front of the 
heavy horses, their own flank was turned, and 
the fear of Mohammedan dominance in Europe 
was at an end. 

All during the Middle Ages the European 
breeders were concentrating largely on pro- 
ducing heavy horses, whether for work or for 
war, and the light Arabian type was not 
prized, except for cross-breeding. For this pur- 
pose Arabian, Barbary, and other horses of the 
dark, slender southern races have always been 
in extreme demand, and the great horses of 
chivalry had much of this blood, even though 
they were so unlike this side of their ancestry. 
In Arabia itself the pure Arabian type is said 
to have been damaged by attempts to supply an 
almost unlimited demand for cross-bred horses. 
Thus the blood has spread over the whole 
world, and except for specialized breeding pur- 
poses, the progeny often excel the pure 
Arabian animals. 

As armor became heavier and more com- 
plete, the knights' great horse necessarily be- 
came stronger and larger. Toward the end of 
this evolution, a horse with his own armor, a 
rider, and the rider's armor and arms was 
carrying about 500 pounds. Later a revolution 
in methods of warfare placed a premium on 
lighter and faster horses again. The cycle in 
England ran from William the Conqueror to 
Cromwell. The famous battle in 1066 was it- 



self a testimonj to the power of the hi 
human affairs, for the Anglo-Saxons, afoot, 
lost the day to Normans of Sturdy horses like 
those that destroyed the Saracens at Poictiers. 
At tin- othei r-iid of the long story, Oliver 
Cromwell mounted his famous Ironsides on 
light horses such as had alread) become popu- 
lar in England through the development of 
racing and hunting, to the distress of more 
conservative military authorities, and they 
roundly defeated their opponents who were 
mounted on little-altered descendants of the 
medieval great horses. The heavier horses have, 
indeed, continued for coaching and draving, 
but most breeders have long concentrated on 
types like the strangel) mongrel hut wholly 
admirable, curiously named thoroughbred. 

The Mongols and their horses 

While European horses were plodding 
through the interminable and relatively petty 
affairs of the Middle Ages, a horse-borne 
plague swept over Asia. To the Mongols, 
horses were not merely badges of rank, imple- 
ments of war, or sources of diversion and 
excitement. They were all these and much 
more. They were such an intimate part of life 
that life without them was impossible. They 
were friend, food, drink, buckler, shelter, god, 
and often life itself. There was no gentleman 
ahorse and commoner afoot. Everyone had a 
horse, or if he had not, the first comer would 
probably give him one. Everyone rode hard 
almost from the day he was born until he died. 
Theirs was a true horse culture complex in 
which the horse was the dominant, the one 
essential feature. Mare's milk was the com- 
mon drink and from it was made kumys by 
light fermentation, and fiery arak, a highly 
intoxicating liquor. On long marches the 
soldiers sometimes drank their horse's blood, 
without killing him. A horse skull was an ob- 
ject of worship in the old shamanistic creed. 
Horses were exacted as tribute or given as 
gifts, their numbers sometimes running into 
the hundreds of thousands. A horse's rights 
and worth were much on a par with a man's, 
and it is not surprising to read in the Yassa, 
the Code of Chingis Khan, that a horse thief 
must pay back nine animals for every one 
stolen or failing that must give his children in 
place of animals, or if he have neither nine 
animals nor children he shall be slaughtered 



HORSES AND HISTORY 



2Sl 



like a sheep (with very gory details as to the 
technique of his execution). Such provisions 
suggest the lynching of horse thieves in our 
own frontier days, when we also had a horse 
culture, but one less intense. We also learn 
(but on less good authority) that forty maid- 
ens and forty white horses were slaughtered 
on the grave of Chingis, and this is at least 
possible, for among many other horse loving 
nations horses have been used as sacrifices, and 
not infrequently humans also on the same 
basis as the horses. It is noteworthy also that 
white is often a sacred color for horses. 
White horses have been much in demand 
among the Arabs, for instance, even though 
they believed bay horses to be better in every 
other respect. 

Such are a few of the more obvious and su- 
perficial features of an intense horse culture 
complex. In its deeper aspect it involves an al- 
most mystical kinship of the horse and his 
rider, and in the case of these men, the Mon- 
gols, this cannot be overlooked as an essential 
element in their amazing achievement. Travel- 
ing and fighting on horseback they built the 
greatest empire the world has ever seen. 

The horse comes to America 

The closest parallel to such a culture com- 
plex based on the horse was developed among 
the men, both white and red, of the North 
American plains and South American pampas. 
It is well known that there were no horses 
living in America when the Europeans first 
landed here. On this occasion, as on so many 
others, horses at least accelerated history if 
they did not altogether change it. Cortez had 
only sixteen horses when he landed in Mexico, 
and probably never had as many as a hundred 
during the conquest, yet these were such ob- 
jects of superstitious dread to the Indians and 
they acted so effectively against the Indian in- 
fantry that they did perhaps as much as any 
other single thing to enable his small band to 
perform the seeming miracle of conquering the 
greatest Indian nations. 

Spanish horses escaped or were loosed in 
Mexico, in the Mississippi Valley, and near 
Buenos Aires, and they thrived so that both 
continents soon had vast herds of feral horses. 
The Indians took to horses with a whoop of 
joy and had soon so completely molded their 
lives around these animals that they seemed 

282 



always to have had them. Sa rapidly did this 
take place that many tribes had gone over en- 
tirely to the horse long before they had ever 
seen a white man. The tribal distributions, 
politics, and habits of almost all the plains 
Indians were profoundly altered by this new 
acquisition, and incidentally they were changed 
from relatively feeble and immobile groups into 
hard-hitting, fast-moving raiders. The white 
man's animal became the Indian's best ally in 
his struggle with the whites. As the West was 
colonized, horses were needed in order to 
travel, to handle cattle, and eventually to 
plough up the sod. We hardly need the "horse 
dramas" of Hollywood to remind us how in- 
extricably the horse is linked with our own 
history. The blood of the steeds of the con- 
quistadores still flows in the veins of our west- 
ern ponies, but it has been much modified by 
crossing with larger animals of more recent 
importation, and the old mustang is now prac- 
tically extinct. 

Future of the horse 

This generation usually assumes that the 
horse's role in history has been played to its 
end, and that our noble companion will sur- 
vive only as a curiosity or an amusement. Cer- 
tainly if the recent tendency toward mechani- 
zation continues, the horse can never again be 
as dominant a factor as in the past. At present, 
however, this mechanization is less advanced 
than most are inclined to think. There are still 
millions of people to whom the horse is the 
principal or only means of transportation and 
source of power. Even in our own country 
there are at present more than 10,000,000 
horses on farms. There is no probability that 
the horse will ever lose his usefulness entirely, 
and if he did, yet he would still be cherished 
as a friend and as a source of pleasure. The 
horse will probably continue to have some 
share in human history as long as that history 
is made. 

"Yet if man, of all the Creator planned, 
His noblest work is reckoned, 
Of the works of his hand, by sea or by land, 
The horse may at least rank second." 

(A.L.Gordon). 

"The air and gracefulness of sitting a 
Horse," says Don Quixote, "makes 
gentlemen of some and grooms of others." 
(Right) An illustration by Gustave Dore 
from "Don Quixote" 

NATURAL HISTORY, NOVEMBER, 1 93 6 










HORSES AND HISTORY 



283 



A primitive wooden fig- 
ure jrom the seventeenth 
or eighteenth dynasty, 
•when Egy ptian culture 
was just beginning to as- 
similate the horse 



All photographs courtesy of 
Metropolitan Museum of Art 










(Upper left) BAS RELIEF c<m 
memorating the wars of Sargon 
II, King of Assyria. It v. as in 
this region that fourteen centuries 
previously the tamed horse had 
first been brought into a civilized 
community 

(Upper right) Assyrian warri- 
ors in mountain country: relief 
from the palace of Sennacherib 
(705-681 B.C.), an even more 
illustrio us conqueror than his 
father, Sargon 11. He utilized 
horses extensively in his cam- 
paigns against Egypt and Babylon 



(Above) Horseman of marble 
(Rhodes). Date: fourth century 
B.C. Even before the sixth cen- 
tury B.C. the man who could af- 
ford to keep a horse as a luxury 
in peace and to raise him above 
the ruck of the battlefield of war, 
had already become an aristocrat 



An etruscan bronze showing the horse- 
drawn chariot used by the Italian civilization 
which preceded that of the Roman emperors, 
in whose hands it degenerated into a sporting 
device 





&&. i\. jrom 

Conquest of Brittany 
by Caesar, from a fifteenth 
century engraving 



m IPlMPIIIIIi I'll 




(Above) Grand fantasia in 
modern Morocco. It was on steeds 
such as these that the early Arabs 
spread the religion of Mohammed 



A Persian version of the sedan 
chair 




The horse of the Lamido of 
Marua Cameroons, West Africa: 
an interesting example of the na- 
tive love of adornment 



William Thomps, 




(Upper right) A NATIVE CAV- 
ALRYMAN of Algeria. Even today 
horses are used extensively in 
desert warfare 



Russian cossacks during the 
Czarist regime, when they were 
the most feared Asiatic horsemen 



A horse does not have to be a 
Derby winner to merit the affec- 
tionate care of his master 



Globe Photos 





Horse pulling contest at a fair, an excel- 
lent portrayal of the muscular equipment of 
our larger work horses 



Ewing Galloway 

Thirty "horsepower" reaper. Ten million 
horses are still used on farms in the United 
States 



MaN-o'-WAR, one of the 
greatest race horses of all 
time. It is probable that the 
first meeting between two 
horsemen resulted in a race. 
The competitive element is 
universal and will probably 
be the last to disappear 



Photo by S. H. Chubb 




(Below) Polo pony and hunters, two ex- horse will always have a place in man's life as 
amples of the horse as a modern luxury. The long as there is a bond of mutual affection 



H. Armstrong Roberts 




"Relief" in the Sub-Arctic 

The tragic economic story of the Northern Indians: a 
thirty-year decline from the freedom of their ancient hunting 
grounds to a place in the "breadline" 



By Philip H. Godsell 

[The author, a veteran fur trader, has spent 
some thirty years among the aborigines of 
Northern Canada as an officer of the Hudson's 
Bay Company, and is the author of the book 
"Arctic Trader." 

The present article is particularly timely be- 
cause it follows close upon a report issued by 
the Department of Indian Affairs at Ottawa 
stating that a large percentage of the Indian 
population of Canada is on relief, and because 
it has a bearing on the widely discussed prob- 
lems of conservation and social administration. 

As an institution for dealing with primitive 
peoples, the Hudson's Bay Company has per- 
haps had unparalleled experience, having oper- 
ated since 1670 on a charter which makes 
it the oldest existing corporation in the world. 
The author's familiarity with this organiza- 
tion and with the Indians about whom he 
writes enables him to present a page from his- 
tory which contains broad social implications. 
—The Editors.'] 

When I stepped ashore some thirty 
years ago at the palisaded stronghold 
of York Factory — long the Hudson's 
Bay Company's capital in the Northwest — to 
commence my long and lonely years of ap- 
prenticeship to the "Gentlemen Adventurers," 
the vast wilderness extending from Labrador 
to Alaska, and from the Great Lakes to the 
Arctic Islands, was one enormous game pre- 
serve. Nearly thirty million caribou roamed 
the Barren Lands. Each spring these animals 
migrated northward, the females leaving the 
bulls on the mainland and making their way 



to the Arctic Islands to have their young. In 
the autumn they re-joined the bulls on the 
mainland and then migrated southward in or- 
der to reach the protection of the timber ere 
the winter blizzards lashed the Barrens from 
end to end with devastating fury. The forests 
to the southward were filled with moose and 
deer, while fur-bearing animals of all kinds 
native to the region were abundant. With 
their primitive muzzle loaders the Indians 
were unable to do any great destruction, con- 
sequently the foundation stock of the animal 
life of forest and tundra remained almost 
unimpaired. 

Self-supporting 

There were but few destitute Indians and 
Eskimos in the North in those days, and they 
were taken care of by the others. The Crees, 
the Chipewyans, the Ojibways and, in fact, 
all the Northern tribes still retained their 
pride of race and were engaged in their an- 
cestral and healthful occupations: hunting, 
fishing and trapping. They traded their furs 
at the picketed forts of the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany which dotted the land from end to end, 
nestling like birds' nests beside the lakes and 
watercourses — the arterial highways of the 
land. True, the Indians did not receive high 
prices for their furs, but then their wants were 
simple, while the Company imported only the 
best of everything. 

While, theoretically, the Hudson's Bay 
Company had surrendered their monopoly 
nearly forty years before they were still para- 
mount throughout the greater part of the 
Canadian North, a factor which made it pos- 
sible to protect the natives from those un- 



RELIEF IN THE SUB-ARCTIC 



289 



favorable aspects which were always pre- 
dominant when there was strong and active 
competition in the wilds. The Indian was rec- 
ognized as an economic asset of the first im- 
portance since the entire success of the Fur 
Trade was dependent upon his well-being. 
Therefore, he was safeguarded and given a 
measure of protection in times of stress. 

There was in effect at this time a profitable 
and thrifty system of "farming the forests" 
which had been in effect for centuries. Each 
Indian family owned their own individual 
hunting grounds which were handed down 
from one generation to another. These were 
distinguished by certain ranges of hills, rivers, 
creeks and other landmarks which formed the 
boundaries, and since each hunter's rights were 
fully recognized there was little or no poach- 
ing. Furthermore, this system lent itself 
admirably to a form of aboriginal game 
conservation. 

Rotation of game 

In the "Good Rabbit Years," when the 
woods were overrun with snowshoe hares, and 
the lynx and foxes that preyed upon them were 
plentiful, the beaver were left practically un- 
touched, being permitted to multiply and thus 
form a reserve which could be drawn upon 
when other furs became scarce. For the fur- 
bearing animals, like the rabbits, multiplied, 
became inbred, were thinned out by epidemics, 
and then increased again within regular ten 
year cycles, only the "overflow" being trapped 
and disposed of to the fur traders. 

But the twentieth century was destined to 
become an era of unexampled expansion and 
progress. Civilization and commerce, anxious 
to open up new lands and fill their coffers, 
pushed their steel tentacles ever farther and 
farther into the wilderness. Soon twin ribbons 
of steel girded the Barren Islands, and from 
the barren rocks of Fort Churchill there arose, 
almost overnight, a sub-Arctic port and a two 
and a half million bushel elevator. Pioneer 
settlers, misled by extravagant accounts of the 
fertility of the Peace River country, sold out 
their homesteads in Wyoming and Texas, 
threw their goods and chattels into ox-drawn 
wagons and hit the trail for the beckoning 
North. Soon the Cree and half-breed trap- 
pers of the "New Northwest" gazed with 
undisguised amazement and alarm at the ever- 
swelling stream of sleighs and covered wagons 
treking unceasingly up from the southward 



and disappearing into the heart of their an- 
cestral hunting grounds. 

But the death-knell to the free and un- 
trammeled life of the Northern Indians was 
sounded when, shortly after the War, a pio- 
neer railroad penetrated into the heart of the 
Peace River country, while another tapped 
the vast two thousand mile network of rivers 
extending from Fort McMurray to the very 
rim of the Polar Sea; the mighty Athabasca- 
Mackenzie system. This furnished opportu- 
nities which the acquisitive palefaces were not 
disposed to overlook. Soon the picketed log 
trading posts of a million dollar American 
concern — the Lamson and Hubbard Company 
— stood cheek by jowl with those of the Hud- 
son's Bay Company throughout the land. 
Then, like a rolling tide, a motley horde of 
adventurers, white trappers and "free trad- 
ers" swept Northward, spread out fanwise 
and worked their way up all the large rivers, 
streams and tributaries of the land. Leaving 
the end of steel in their scows and flat-boats 
they floated down the Athabasca, the Slave 
and the Mackenzie rivers, carrying to the na- 
tives the "blessings" of civilization in the form 
of alcoholic extracts and the ingredients for 
home-brew; jazz garters, silk dresses and 
French-heeled shoes for the dusky ladies of 
the wigwams, together with high-powered 
rifles and unlimited supplies of ammunition to 
enable the hunters to raise havoc with the re- 
maining game herds. 

A fool's paradise 

The Indians were delighted. The war-time 
boom in furs was at its height, while the keen 
competition that ensued between contending 
traders forced fur prices far beyond those of 
the leading markets of the world. Spurred on 
by the desire to possess the gaudy luxuries 
displayed so tauntingly on the shelves of the 
trading stores the red men trapped as they 
had never trapped before, and there ensued an 
undignified and uneconomic scramble. Within 
three years the Indians had become thoroughly 
demoralized, their dependability destroyed, 
and their original honesty completely and ef- 
fectively eradicated. 

The Slavey, Yellow Knife and Dog-Rib 
tribes who inhabit this region had never borne 
the paleface much love, and when the Lam- 
son and Hubbard Company brought a large 
number of white trappers in from the United 
States and elsewhere, grubstaked them and 



290 



NATURAL HISTORY, NOVEMBER, 1 93 6 



scattered them throughout the country they 
looked on witli bitter anger and resentment. 
For, unlike the Indian, the professional white 
trapper is out to make a clean-up in the short- 
est possible space of time. In the autumn he 
proceeds to build cabins every twenty miles or 
so along his trapline, then from the first snow- 
fall until the ice breaks up in the spring he is 
tirelessly on the go, and in the course of a single 
season will accumulate three or four times as 
much fur as an entire Indian family would over 
a period of years. 

Poison bait 

Anxious to amass riches by the quickest and 
most effective means these newcomers resorted 
to a more efficacious and deadly manner of 
acquiring furs than by the use of the steel 
trap and the deadfall. Promiscuously, and with 
lavish hand, they scattered poison baits along 
the hunting trails of the redskins, destroying 
many of the Indians' sleigh dogs and laying 
waste large areas of territory. For the use of 
poison was infinitely more destructive than 
the most intensive trapping could ever be. 
Animals swallowing these baits would fre- 
quently live long enough to escape deep into 
the woods and die, to be devoured by other 
forest dwellers whose polluted carcasses would 
destroy still others, and so it went. As soon 
as one section of the country had been de- 
nuded of fur-bearing animals the trapper 
would pile his belongings into his canoe after 
breakup and look for new pastures where the 
process would be repeated. 

When the Indians saw these strange pale- 
faces taking casual possession of their hunt- 
ing grounds, saw their dogs poisoned and their 
traplines dotted with the usurpers' traps and 
poison baits, they were consumed with over- 
whelming anger. They trapped intensively to 
prevent these hated "Long Knives" from get- 
ting too many furs, burned their cabins, and 
deliberately set forest fires to drive out the 
invaders. Consequently many thousands of 
square miles of forested country were burned 
over with an appalling loss of animal life ; a 
drop in the water level ensued, drying up large 
areas of marshland which had been the breed- 
ing grounds for millions of muskrats, and 
those posts which, a few years ago, shipped out 
thousands of these small pelts to be converted 
into Hudson Seal found their shipments re- 
duced to mere hundreds. 



Then came the airplane which made these 
erstwhile natural game and fur preserves more 
accessible and vulnerable than ever. Nowadays 
trappers can hire an airplane to take them 
into new and previously inaccessible hunting 
grounds which would have entailed months, 
and even years of travel, in the old days. They 
can scout new territory from the air, and in 
the course of a few hours range over a wide 
area to select their winter trapping grounds. 
At least one trapper owns an airplane of 
his own, which enables him to cover a vast 
extent of territory, and renders him almost 
immune from Game Guardians, Game Laws, 
Mounted Police and State boundaries. 

Airplane companies have grub-staked trap- 
pers, transported them into the hearts of the 
Indian hunting grounds, with adequate sup- 
plies of traps and other equipment, picking 
them up at the end of the season and allow- 
ing them twenty-five per cent on the gross 
value of their fur catch. 

Consequently the Indian is entirely at the 
mercy of the trapper and the hunter, with 
little or no voice in his own protection and 
defense since he signed away all rights to the 
land the moment he placed his mark upon the 
Treaty made with the representatives of the 
Great Father. 

The wilderness he once owned is being ex- 
ploited as never before, and he, along with 
his ancient enemy — the Eskimo, is in a fair 
way, ere long, to become an even greater 
charge than he is at present upon the Dominion 
Government. 



A race without a country 

Some of the Western tribes, especially the 
Blackfeet, have been converted into more or 
less capable and successful farmers. But the 
Northern Indian is at the cross-roads. He is 
neither physically nor mentally adapted to 
compete with the white man either as a 
laborer, or in mining and industrial pursuits. 
His is not a farming country, but a wilder- 
ness of forest, rock and muskeg. He is, and 
will remain, in spite of all the education he 
might receive, essentially a hunter and a trap- 
per, and if the game is not safeguarded he 
will either disappear as the Beaver and Sick- 
annie Indians of the Peace River are doing, 
or will develop into a permanently dispirited 
(Continued on page 358) 



RELIEF IN THE SUB-ARCTIC 



291 



The Meteor Craters in Estonia 

"Footprints" left by visitors from outer space — Evidence 
of an astronomical collision that occurred perhaps two thousand 
years ago 



By Clyde Fisher 



Curator of Astronomy and the Hayden Planetarium, 
. Museum of Natural History 



tc 



T 



he most interesting spot on Earth" 
is the designation said to have been 
given by the great Swedish scientist, 
Arrhenius, to Meteor Crater in Arizona. 
Little did he suspect the existence of a whole 
group of such craters at his own back-door- 
step, as it were. Meteor craters constitute 
the visible effects, the footprints, — one may 
say, — of the only visitors from outer space 
that actually reach the Earth. Well may they 
engross the attention of geologists and as- 
tronomers. 

Recently recognized 

In Estonia, which before the days of Peter 
the Great belonged to Sweden, is located this 
group of a half-dozen such craters. Although 
of prehistoric origin, their true nature was 
not recognized until 1927. 

Upon joining the Harvard-M.I.T. Eclipse 
Expedition, whose work in connection with 
the total eclipse of the sun on June 19, 1936, 
was mentioned in the October issue of 
Natural History, it was my fond hope 
before returning to America to fly over the 
famous meteor craters near the Stony Tun- 
guska River in north-central Siberia. To my 
great disappointment, I was advised by the 
Soviet Academy of Sciences, and I believe 
with good reason, that it would be imprac- 
ticable to do this in mid-summer. Conse- 
quently, I turned my attention immediately 
to the Estonian Craters, which I had all along 
hoped to examine on my way back from the 
eclipse belt in the U.S.S.R. 

Leaving Leningrad on the evening of June 



27th by rail, I was in Tallinn, the Estonian 
capital, early the next morning. This old 
Baltic city, founded more than 700 years ago 
by King Waldemar the Second, of the Danes, 
has miraculously preserved its medieval 
character. Apparently it has not suffered the 
ravages of war, although in one of the many 
towers of the old city-wall, namely, Kiek-in- 
de-kok, a number of large cannonballs may 
still be seen embedded in the masonry. The 
Old Town with its very narrow, crooked 
streets, flanked with high-gabled stone houses, 
its old ramparts and battlements still largely 
intact, the massive wooden doors, often 
carved, and in remarkably good condition, 
— is altogether a fascinating place. The old 
moats, however, have been filled and con- 
verted into fine promenades and paths which 
girdle the Old Town with a beautiful belt of 
green. 

At the suggestion of Professor E. Opik, 
Director of the Tartu (Dorpat) Observa- 
tory (Estonia), I called at the office of Mr. 
Ivan Reinvald, Mining Engineer, Inspector 
of the Mining Industry of Estonia, who had 
explored the craters that I wished to visit, 
and who had been the first to conceive and 
announce to the scientific world the correct 
theory of their origin. 

Location 

Very soon I was able to arrange a visit 
to the craters, which are located on the Island 
of Saaremaa (Oesel) in the Baltic a little 
way west of the main coast of Estonia. The 
quickest way to make the trip from Tallinn to 
Kuressaare (Arensburg), the capital of the 
Island of Saaremaa, near which the craters 
are located, is by autobus, with a small steam- 



202 



NATURAL HISTORY, NOVEMBER, 1 93 6 



boat to carry one from the mainland of Esto- 
nia out to the Island of Saarcmaa. It was my 
good fortune to spend two days at the cra- 
ters, and one of these days was with Rein- 
vald, who has studied them so thoroughly. 

In picturesque surroundings 

Kuressaare, or Arensburg, as it was known 
to the German Knights, is a quaint old town 
with a castle 700 years old. I think I have 
never seen such narrow sidewalks, many of 
them only about a foot wide, and some even 
narrower. In the evening it is interesting to 
see the cows on returning from pasture adopt 
these narrow sidewalks in preference to the 
cobble-stone streets. On driving from Kures- 
saare out to the craters about a dozen miles 
to the northeast, one passes through a level 
and fertile farming region with here and 
there a patch of forest trees remaining. As 
evidence of good farming, fine fields of 
wheat, rye, and clover and smaller patches of 
potatoes lined the roadsides. (We were told 
that Estonian vodka is made of potatoes, 
while in Russia it is made of rye or wheat.) 
Around the craters the peasants were mak- 
ing hay, this activity being at its height. Al- 
though a little late in the season, at the time 
of my visits (June 30 and July 4, 1936) the 
skylarks were still singing their ecstatic flight- 
songs over the peasants' fields surrounding 
the craters. 

The main crater contains a beautiful, cir- 
cular lake, which has long been known as 
Kaali Jarv, meaning Kaali Lake. In fact, the 
name "Kaali" has come to be used for the 
whole group of craters of which there are 
six of undoubted meteoric origin. The diame- 
ter of the lake in the main crater is nearly 
200 feet, while the diameter of the crater 
from rim to rim averages more than 300 feet. 
The crater rim or wall rises 20 to 25 feet 
above the level of the surrounding ground. 
The crater is bowl-shaped and quite sym- 
metrical, the rim or wall being steeper on the 
inner slope than on the outer. The rim is 
well wooded with large forest trees consist- 
ing of elm, ash, maple, spruce and oak. I 
noted no pine or white birch, although both 
are common on the island. There are present 
many hazel-bushes, which are sometimes 
small trees, and a shrubby dogwood. On top 
of the rim is a shady trail extending clear 



around the lake, a circular "lovers' lane," 
evidently much trodden. On one side of the 
lake (Kaali Jarv) is a stone table used as a 
place to drink coffee by Baron von Moller, 
former owner of the Kaali estate on which 
the craters are located. The ground around 
the craters is level farming land which 
has been cultivated from time immemorial, 
no doubt for hundreds of years. The nearby 
town of Kuressaare is more than 700 years 
old. 

One's attention is immediately attracted to 
the broken edges of the dolomite strata which 
jut out all around from the upper part of 
the interior wall of the crater, and to the 
fact that these huge fragments are tilted up- 
ward from the inside 30 to 40 degrees, — re- 
minding one of similar conditions in Meteor 
Crater in Arizona. These tilted dolomitic strata 
are together about 25 feet thick, and they 
belong, geologically speaking, to the Upper 
Gottland (Silurian), which underlies the thin 
glacial drift in this whole surrounding re- 
gion, and which is practically level where 
undisturbed. 

Rock-flour 

Beneath these tilted dolomites, Reinvald 
showed me a belt of white or slightly brown- 
ish powder containing soft pieces of whitish 
rock, which could easily be ground to pow- 
der between the fingers. Chemical investiga- 
tion had shown that both the powder and the 
rock fragments were similar in composition 
to the surrounding dolomite strata. A bore- 
hole sunk by Reinvald showed that this girdle 
of powder is nearly 20 feet thick, and that 
it lies between the tilted fragments above and 
the undisturbed horizontally lying dolomites 
beneath. Evidently it constitutes a most strik- 
ing analog of the rock-flour ("star-dust") 
at Meteor Crater in Arizona, the latter being 
Coconino sandstone which was crushed and 
pulverized by the impact. 

Careful measurements of the lake-bottom 
were made on six radii, at every two metres, 
down to the soft muddy bottom, — the water 
being 25 or 30 feet deep, varying with the 
season. The soft, muddy bottom of the crater 
is therefore nearly 50 feet lower than the up- 
per rim. Measurements were made on four 
radii, not only down to the muddy sediment, 
but also to the solid bottom beneath it. This 
investigation showed the muddy bottom to 



THE METEOR CRATERS IN ESTONIA 



293 



be nearly flat, while a funnel-shaped depres- 
sion with a prolonged form was discovered 
in the hard bottom beneath. 

The main part of this exploratory work 
was done by Reinvald in the autumn of 1927 
by the order of the Mining Department of 
the Ministry of Trade and Industry of Esto- 
nia. In this work a bore-hole was put down 
at the base of the crater-wall on the outside 
to a depth of 207 feet, and two smaller bore- 
holes were sunk in the inside wall. 

Besides the main crater (Kaali Jarv), 



there are five smaller depressions, undoubt- 
edly of the same origin, scattered around it 
on an area of about one-third of a square- 
mile. The rims of the small craters, instead 
of being forested by large trees, are for the 
most part overgrown by hazel-bushes which 
in some cases cover the crater-bottoms as 
well. These craters vary in size from about 
35 feet to about 130 feet in diameter. Their 
dimensions and characteristics are given in 
connection with the accompanying figure. 
It is to be noted that Crater No. 2, unlike 




The above map, embracing an area approxi- 
mately a half mile square, shows the relative 



Where Meteors Struck the Earth 

positions of the six meteor craters in Estonia 
discussed in the present article 



Crater No. i : 360 yards southwest of the main 
crater, and similar in shape; diameter, 120 feet; 
depth, slightly over 13 feet; tilted dolomitic blocks 
near the rim as in the main crater, overlying a 
girdle of powder. 

Crater No. 2: 030 yards south of main crater; 
oval in shape, about 175 feet by 120 feet; depth, 
nearly 12 feet. 

Crater No. 3 : 275 yards east of No. 2; charac- 



teristic bowl-shape; more than 100 feet in diameter 
and nearly 12 feet deep. 

Crater No. 4: 27s yards east of main crater; 
characteristic bowl-shape ; diameter, 6$ feet; depth 
from 2 to 4 feet; rim formation similar to main 
crater. 

Crater No. 5: 18$ yards south-southwest of 
No. 4; diameter, about 35 feet. 



294 



NATURAL HISTORY, NOVEMBER, 1 936 



the others, is oval. This fact Reinvald inter- 
prets as indicating that the crater was prob- 
ably formed by two meteorites falling close 
together — a likely theory which can pretty 
surely be determined by careful excavation. 

Effect of impact 

Most illuminating in connection with Cra- 
ter No. 4 is the condition of the central por- 
tion of the bottom. Though the feature has 
not yet been seen in any of the other craters, 
this is probably because they have not yet 
been excavated. The entire bottom, except for 
a small area in the center, is composed of 
fresh, hard dolomite in its original, undis- 
turbed strata. But the central portion about 
1 8 feet in diameter is a shallow depression 
about 16 inches deep, in the center of which 
is a blind funnel about three feet long by 
a foot and a half broad, and a foot and a half 
deep. This funnel is certainly the result of 
impact. By the curve in the thin marly 
streaks in the dolomite at the margin of the 
funnel (streaks which are horizontal in the 
unchanged dolomite), evidence can plainly be 
seen of the downward pressure of the me- 
teorite at the time of impact. The 1 8-foot 
depression is surrounded by a zigzag broken 
rim, and the dolomite here is not fresh and 
hard, but is slightly deformed; it is cracked, 
slightly wavy, swollen, and has a burnt ap- 
pearance. It is lighter in color than the fresh 
surrounding dolomite, is soft and easily cut 
by the shovel. From the streaks of marl and 
other characters, it is clear that this changed 
dolomite is still in situ. The burnt and some- 
what shattered dolomite around the funnel, 
which was found by bore-holes to extend 
downward some 15 feet below the top of the 
funnel, is no doubt the result of heat devel- 
oped by the impact of the meteorite. 

A peculiar condition of the burnt dolomite 
is to be noted here, namely, it has been more 
affected by heat below the surface than at 
the level of the top of the funnel. In other 
words, there is a thin layer, or "skin," of 
comparatively fresh dolomite around the fun- 
nel covering the burnt dolomite beneath, in- 
dicating that the heat was radiated from the 
interior of the funnel, as one should expect. 

This burnt dolomite constitutes an inter- 
esting analog of the fused quartz or Le Chat- 
elierite at Meteor Crater in Arizona. 



The main part of the crater with its ele- 
vated rim is undoubtedly the result of 
explosion, primarily from the sudden trans- 
formation of ground water, as well as the 
moisture in the dolomite, into steam, when 
the energy of the onward motion of the me- 
teorite was instantly changed into heat. As 
stated by Reinvald, the size of the crater in- 
dicates the extent of the explosion, but the 
meteorite itself was of insignificant size in 
comparison with the dimensions of the crater. 
It is certain that the conditions were essen- 
tially the same in the formation of all the 
craters of this group. 

Reinvald is planning to excavate Crater 
No. 5 next, although further evidence is not 
necessary to convince one that the craters 
were formed by the fall of meteorites, princi- 
pally by the attendant steam explosion. This 
theory of origin was first conceived and stated 
in 1927 by Reinvald, and he has since found 
convincing evidence. 

Meteoric fragments are lacking 

It is true that no meteoric material has 
been found in or around the Estonian cra- 
ters. If the meteorites which caused these 
craters were iron, as Reinvald judges on ac- 
count of the strength and acuteness of their 
action, the pieces were probably carried away 
by the peasants, or by the earlier Vikings. 
Iron was prized by the Vikings; and it is 
known that the Danes, who were the 
founders of this Baltic province, had no iron 
in their home country. In support of this 
theory, it is also known that the Eskimos 
pounded off with tough rocks fragments of 
the Cape York meteorites, which Peary 
brought from Greenland, for the purpose of 
making knives. The Eskimos also used a 
small specimen of iron meteorite weighing 
between 3 and 4 pounds as a hammer. The 
latter specimen, which was found in Elles- 
mereland, was presented to the American 
Museum by Dr. W. Elmer Ekblaw of the 
Crocker Land Expedition. Here it may be 
seen together with the Peary meteorites from 
the same general region. 

How quickly the meteoric iron has disap- 
peared from Meteor Crater in Arizona and 
from the Henbury Craters in Australia with 
the influx of people! We have seen the mete- 
oric iron disappear in the former case in less 



THE METEOR CRATERS IN ESTONIA 



295 



than 50 years. While it is true that thou- 
sands of pieces have been picked up around 
the Arizona crater, it is now seldom that a 
piece is found even on this semi-desert. The 
Kaali Craters in Estonia are located in ar- 
able land that has been tilled for hundreds of 
years, thus providing ample time for the iron 
to be carried away. And then some forms of 
meteoric iron oxidize and disintegrate very 
rapidly. The absence of meteoric iron about 
the Kaali Craters does not prove that it has 
never been there. 

After the explosion, the mass of the me- 
teorite in all probability lay in the form of 
debris around the crater and partly in the 
mass falling back into the crater. Reinvald 
maintains that it is absolutely futile to search 
for the "main mass" of the meteorite in the 
crater itself, even if pieces should be found 
lying around. 

As Reinvald points out, the group of Kaali 
(Estonian) Craters bear surprising resem- 
blances to the Henbury Craters: (1) the 
craters have the same charactertistic bowl- 
like form, besides the presence of an oval 
crater in each group, namely, Crater No. 2 
at Kaali, and the "main crater" at Henbury; 
(2) the craters are approximately the same 
size, — 12 to 120 yards at Kaali, 10 to 120 
yards at Henbury; (3) in both groups the 
rims of the craters are partly formed by up- 
ward tilted blocks of the upper layers of the 
country rock; (4) there are signs of high 
temperature in both groups, — at Kaali, burnt 
dolomite, — at Henbury, pieces of fused sand- 
stone; (5) in both groups there is found a 
fine powder mixed with coarser fragments of 
the country rock. The origin of the Henbury 
Craters, however, has been confirmed by the 
additional evidence of the presence in the im- 
mediate vicinity of numerous pieces of me- 
teoric iron, some 25 or 30 pieces of which 
are in the American Museum collection of 
meteorites. 

A fairly recent occurrence 

The age of the Kaali Craters is young 
geologically. From the mixture of glacial drift 
and crushed dolomite in the material that 
fell back into the craters after the explosion, 
and from the fact that the elevated rims have 
not been disturbed, it is evident that they 
were surely formed after the last retreat of 



the continental glacier. The large forest trees 
inside the main crater and on top of the rim 
certainly put the date of origin back a few 
hundred years. Considering all the evidence, 
it seems that the age of the craters may be as 
great as two thousand years. 

Bearing also on the question of age, is the 
finding in Crater No. 4, of fragments of 
shells of land-snails of species that live today 
on the bushes in the vicinity. These broken 
shells were located in pockets, covered with 
the glacial drift and crushed dolomite, which 
fell back at the time of the explosion, and 
they remind one of the finding of shells of 
water-snails of recent species in the lacustrine 
deposits in the bottom of Meteor Crater in 
Arizona. 

Not only did I have the opportunity of 
seeing practically all of this absorbing evi- 
dence under the direction of Reinvald, but I 
have also drawn heavily on his papers* in 
writing this account. 

Specimens 

I have brought back with me a complete 
series of specimens illustrating the phenomena 
described above, which were collected in my 
presence by Reinvald and presented by him to 
the American Museum of Natural History. 
These will be added to the Museum collec- 
tion of meteorites now installed in the Hay- 
den Planetarium building. 

Not only am I personally grateful to him 
for his unfailing courtesy, but I wish also to 
recognize the debt which science owes to 
this well-trained and cautious worker for 
pursuing his research with such devotion. 
The Ministry of Trade and Industry has not 
been interested to invest money in the research 
since the initial exploration in 1927, because 
there was no hope of economic returns. Engi- 
neer Reinvald has therefore carried on his 
careful investigation of Crater No. 4, which 
has yielded such unique and important results, 
at his own personal expense, without the hope 
of pecuniary reward. He has added much to 
our knowledge of this fascinating type of na- 
ture's phenomena. 



* "Bericht fiber geologische Untersuchungen am Kaalijarv 
(Krater von Sail) auf Osel," von I. Reinvaldt. Publica- 
tions of the Geological Institution of the University of 
Tartu, No. 11, 1928. 

"Kaali Jarv — The Meteorite Craters on the Island of 
Osel (Estonia)," by J. A. Reinvaldt. Publications of the 
Geological Institution of the University of Tartu, 1933. 



296 



NATURAL HISTORY, NOVEMBER, 1 936 



The Meteor Craters in Estonia 

Photographs of sears left on the landscape when a cluster of meteoric Fragments -truck the earth 

By Clyde Fisher 




Kaali jarv or main crater: View from 
peasant's clover-field showing nearly all of tin- 
largest crater of the group, overgrown with 



trees anil shrubs — from the outside resembling 
a bit of virgin forest. One would hardly sus- 
pect the presence within of a meteor crater 




(Above) The main CRATER as seen front the (Below) Another view of the circular lake 

inner slope of the rim, showing the circular (Kaali Jarv) ivhich is nearly two hundred feet 

lake (jarv). The forest trees grow down to the in diameter 
edge of the water 




THE METEOR CRATERS IN ESTONIA 



297 




(Left) "Lover's lane": Shady foot-path 
extending clear around the top of the circu- 
lar rim of the Main Crater ( Kaali Jarv ) , a 
favorite visiting-place for the peasants on 
Sundays and holidays 



(Below) Inner slope of rim of the Main 
Crater (Kaali Jarv) the top of which is 
about 25 feet higher than the surrounding 
fields, and nearly SO above the central lake. 
This rim is composed of a mixture of glacial 
drift and debris of the bed-rock 



(Below) Tilted dolomite strata 
which jut out from the upper part 
of the interior wall of the Main 
Crater (Kaali Jarv). Engineer I. 
Reinvald, Inspector of Mines for 
Estonia in the foreground 




NATURAL HISTORY, NOVEMBER, I 93 6 



(Right) Crater number two: 
One of the smaller of the six 
meteor craters, overgrown ivitli 
trees and shrubs, and like the 
others surrounded by level farm- 
ing land 



(Below) Crater number 
two : Engineer Reinvald stand- 
ing on the floor of Crater No. 
Two. On the slope at the left 
of the picture may be seen his 
excavations 





(Below) The foot-prixt of a 
meteorite: Bottom of Crater No. 
Four, showing funnel of impact 
of meteorite, which so far appears 
to be the only one explored in the 
zoorld 



THE METEOR CRATERS IN ESTONIA 



Stardust 

November's celestial "fireworks" — The Leonid showers, 
an annual bombardment from outer space which would demolish 
our cities if it were not for the protection of the atmosphere 



By Hubert J. Bernhard 

Present hopes for communicating with 
other planets in the solar system are slim 
— but we are constantly receiving solid 
messengers from outer space. 

On certain November mornings thousands 
of them — in the form of shooting stars — 
shower down into the earth's atmosphere. 
They are part of a large group of meteors 
traveling together in space, and as the earth, 
speeding at eighteen miles a second, shoots into 
the region they occupy, it attracts to itself 
many of the smaller bodies. 

Pulled out of their accustomed paths by the 
earth's gravitation, they hurtle downward at 
speeds varying from seven to forty-four miles 
a second. They are chunks of iron or stone, 
ranging in size from a grain of sand to a large 
house, and they are cold with the absolute cold 
of outer space. 

Become white hot 

Then, suddenly, they come into the earth's 
atmosphere and their whole nature changes. 
As they rush through the thin upper air, their 
surfaces become warmed by friction. Quickly 
the warmth increases until the meteors are 
raised to red heat, then to white heat. They 
burn with a white glare and give off gases. 
Part of each one, unburnable, floats softly to 
the ground in the form of a fine ash. 

By the time they have come within fifty 
miles of the earth's surface all but a few have 
vanished. They have burned themselves out in 
their mad, aimless dash through the air. 

And the Leonid meteor shower is over for 
another year. 



About 20,000,000 meteors, similar to these 
Leonids, hit the earth's atmosphere each day in 
a ceaseless and aimless bombardment from the 
depths of the universe. Few are visible, for 
they fall during the day, and in isolated places 
where there is no one to see them. But the 
careful observer, who sees only five an hour on 
average nights, occasionally enjoys a superb 
treat. 

A quarter-million shooting stars 

Little more than a hundred years ago, in 
November, 1833, the same group of Leonid 
meteors that still visits the earth appeared in 
the most awesome sky phenomenon yet re- 
corded. At one station alone a quarter-million 
of these shooting stars were seen to dash to 
destruction between midnight and dawn. 

Such spectacular displays are found to re- 
turn at more or less regular intervals, and that 
of 1833 reappears three times a century. Never 
have the meteors streaked through the night 
sky in such numbers as they did a hundred 
years ago, but always they return. 

The great shower of 1833 was not the first 
of the series known as the Leonids. Historical 
research shows that this group of meteors has 
been returning to the earth for at least 1300 
years. The earliest account of them is the fol- 
lowing, from an Arabian writer: 

"In the year 599, on the last day of Mohar- 
ren, stars shot hither and thither, and flew 
against each other like a swarm of locusts ; 
people were thrown into consternation and 
made supplication to the Most High ; there 
was never the like seen except on the coming 
of the messenger of God ; on whom be benedic- 
tion and peace." 



300 



NATURAL HISTORY, NOVEMBER, 1936 



The first well-described shower of this 
group occurred on November 12, 1799, and it 
was seen by Von Humboldt, a well known 
scientist and traveler who was then in the 
Andes. For four hours, he said, thousands of 
bolides and shooting stars were seen to dart 
across the eastern sky from north to south. 
There was no spot in the sky as wide as three 
full moons that was not full of them. They 
all dragged trains eight or ten degrees long, 
which lasted seven or eight seconds. Some 
looked as big as Jupiter, some showered sparks, 
some burst. Some, as big to the eye as the moon 
or half again as big, vanished without sparks 
but had trains half or two-thirds the apparent 
width of the moon. 

Astronomers noted, during the 1833 appear- 
ance, what Von Humboldt apparently missed 
in the earlier show; that the meteors appeared 
to be emanating from the constellation of Leo. 
It so happened that if the paths of the meteors 
were marked on a star map and traced back- 
ward, one would find that they all crossed in 
that constellation. 

From the "vanishing point" 

This really is due to the same familiar per- 
spective effect that makes railroad tracks ap- 
pear to come together in the distance. Those 
lines are parallel, and geometry tells us that 
parallel lines meet at a point in infinity ; artists 
call it the vanishing point. The meteors of any 
particular shower travel through the air in 
parallel lines, and as these lines seem to come 
toward the observer, he gets the same converg- 
ing effect that he would if he were to stand 
between a set of railroad tracks. 

The spot in the heavens at which these lines 
appear to cross is called the radiant of the 
meteor swarm and the shower usually takes its 
name from the star group in or near which the 
radiant lies. 

When this convergent effect had been noted 
in the 1833 shower, astronomers studied rec- 
ords of the display in 1799 and decided that 
both showers were related. They predicted an- 
other for 1867, a shower that actually fell a 
year earlier. 

The discovery that these great meteoric dis- 
plays were part of a series led to the deduction 
that minor displays seen at other times were 
parts of other, less spectacular, series. Such is 
the case, and today we find available a list of 



fifteen more or less well-defined showers which 
recur annually. Although the big shower of 
Leonids is seen only twice in a normal life- 
time, there is a very much smaller display at 
the same time every year. 

Investigation shows that these meteor 
swarms travel along orbits that are identical 
with the orbits of different comets. For in- 
stance, the orbit of the Lyrid meteors is the 
same as that for the comet of 1861, and a 
meteor swarm appeared to replace the famous 
Biela's comet. The Leonids, it is believed, came 
from Tempel's Comet. A list has been pre- 
pared to show seventy-six meteor streams 
whose orbits agree fairly well with the orbits 
of an equal number of comets. 

While some of these comets are still in exis- 
tence, many of them are extinct, and this fact 
gives rise to the thought that, as one astrono- 
mer put it, "Our periodic meteors may be the 
debris of ancient but now disintegrated comets 
whose material has become distributed around 
their orbits." 

It appears likely that this is the case. These 
meteor swarms are distributed about the orbits 
in a peculiar manner. There is a main group 
consisting of millions of meteors bunched to- 
gether in a loosely connected mass, and all 
along the orbit are other meteors, distributed 
in a long stream that usually covers the entire 
path. It is when the earth cuts the main swarm 
that we have such a display as the Leonids of 
1833, ar >d it is when the earth cuts some other 
part of the orbit that we have the minor dis- 
plays seen in "off" years. 

When they are in their normal state, out in 
space, meteors are not visible to terrestrial ob- 
servers. They can be seen for only a brief mo- 
ment, in their hour of doom, when they race 
through the atmosphere leaving glowing gases 
and ash in their wake. Often meteors have 
trains behind them which last from one second 
or less in most cases to the exceptional instances 
when they are visible for hours. 

Some spectacular meteors 

In their brilliant flight these shooting stars 
are sometimes very startling. In December, 
1876, a blazing ball of fire swept across the 
United States from Kansas to Pennsylvania, 
being sighted at eleven different stations. 
There are records buried in dusty files that 
tell of exploding meteors — 'fire-balls — which 



STARDUST 



301 



arrived during the night and burst with such 
an explosion that they awoke entire cities. 

Sometimes they come during the day, and 
are so bright that they may be seen despite the 
sun. One, years ago, burst over Madrid, Spain, 
with such a noise that the crack of its explo- 
sion broke windowpanes in houses. 

Two years ago airmail pilot Bill Coyle, of 
the Transcontinental and Western Air Lines, 
watched a brilliant meteor "big as the Wichita 
hangar" flash across the sky and leave a train 
that endured until daylight. 

He was cruising about two miles above the 
town of Adrian, Texas, when he was surprised 
by what he at first thought was a giant flood- 
light turned on in the sky. It was a great 
meteor, coming out of the northeast and travel- 
ing west by southwest. 

"In a second or two," Coyle said, describing 
the incident, "it became too bright for me. We 
were at about the same altitude. In a moment 
I caught sight of its tail and could tell it was 
going north of me. Its line of flight was prob- 
ably forty or fifty miles distant; at any rate it 
was so close I could see fragments of the 
meteor whirling away from it and dropping 
back into the tail. It left a deep red trail with 
a bluish tint which hung in the sky until 
daylight." 

This particular meteor disappeared in a 
thunder-like rumble that shook the ground in 
several states. 

Visible over wide area 

It seared the skies of northern Texas, New 
Mexico, and the Oklahoma panhandle, 
streaked over Colorado Springs, and was seen 
by residents of southwest Kansas. 

Nor was Coyle's experience the only one of 
its kind on record. Even more recently another 
airplane pilot described a meteor which passed 
within fifty miles of him, and several spectacu- 
lar ones have been seen from the ground. 

When we consider that the effect of friction 
upon a meteor moving at the comparatively 
slow speed of one mile per second is the same 
as if it were standing still in a bath of red hot 
air, it is small wonder that the life of a shoot- 
ing star is short. For the average meteor moves 
at a speed of from seven to forty-four miles a 
second when it is in the atmosphere, and the 
effect of the friction at this speed is to raise the 
meteor's temperature to one thousand times 
red heat. 



This, then, explains why the average meteor 
is seen for only one second, appearing at a 
height of seventy-five miles and vanishing at 
fifty miles. Sometimes, however, they are so 
big that they are not completely consumed in 
their flight through the air, and they reach the 
ground. 

Since the area of the earth that is inhabited 
by man is comparatively small, meteors usually 
fall in the vast expanses of the oceans or in un- 
habited desert regions. There is no authentic 
record of one ever having hit and killed a 
human being, although one fell in Siberia in 
1908, wiping out an entire herd of reindeer 
and laying waste fifty miles of forest. 

Atmosphere protects cities 

If the protection that the atmosphere affords 
from meteors were to be removed, millions of 
meteors falling each day would crash down 
on cities and hamlets ; they would smash the 
majestic skyscrapers of New York into a 
smoldering pile of torn and twisted brick and 
steel. 

This fact was called to the attention of 
New Yorkers in screaming headlines on the 
morning of March 14th when a brilliant fire- 
ball roared across the heavens from the south- 
west and vanished above the waters of the 
Atlantic Ocean. The sudden sight of the 
phenomenon so impressed editors in the slum- 
bering city that one tabloid newspaper issued 
an inky Extra, and another paper stopped its 
presses for the story. 

It is believed that the meteor first burst into 
sight not far from over Norristown, Pa., be- 
tween 2 147 and 2 148 a. m. Traveling in a 
general easterly direction, it shot over part of 
Pennsylvania, cut across the middle of New 
Jersey, and disappeared off Sandy Hook. The 
distinct crack of an explosion was heard in 
Trenton, N. J., causing windowpanes in that 
city to crack in some instances and giving rise 
to a wild report that a nearby ammunition 
dump had exploded. 

Far from the line of flight, the meteor was 
marked by a peculiar flash of bluish-green 
light, which lasted for an appreciable length 
of time. The writer, who was indoors at the 
moment, had his attention called to the "flash 
of lightning" by a companion, and although 
he had to turn about to look through a win- 
dow the light still lingered in the sky. 



302 



NATURAL HISTORY, NOVEMBER, 1 93 6 



Eight startled passengers in a northbound 
airliner soaring through the night over Vir- 
ginia saw the strange light and watched the 
yellowish-red mass hiss through the air far 
ahead. Even as the co-pilot radioed a query 
to his home office, the fireball was sighted by 
several ships at sea. At Newark airport, cen- 
tral air terminal of the east, the flash of the 
meteor was so brilliant that it outshone the 
floodlights on the landing field. 

Reports received at the Flower Observa- 
tory in Upper Darby, Pa., show that the 
meteor was sighted from at least six states and 
the District of Columbia. Approximately 200 
persons recorded the phenomenon, and the 
states represented were, in order : Virginia, 
Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jer- 
sey, and New York. 

Dr. Charles P. Olivier, director of the 
Flower Observatory and a well-known au- 
thority on meteors, reports several competent 
witnesses as saying that, during the latter part 
of its path, the meteor itself was brighter than 
the full moon. Although there is no reasonable 
way of giving the mass of the meteor with ex- 
actness, Dr. Olivier ventures a guess, based 
on the phenomena of sound as well as the ob- 
ject's brightness, that it was at least 50 pounds 
in weight. It is possible that it may have been 
several times as heavy as this, but it is most 
unlikely that it weighed a ton, even as it en- 
tered the atmosphere. 

Some reports received at the observatory 
stated that the meteor was seen actually to fall 
in the water. However, it did not remain bril- 
liant to distant observers until it actually hit, 
as might have been expected. Its "disappear- 
ing point" therefore was some miles high, and 
the exact figure remains to be computed. 

Heat superficial 

Those meteors that do land reveal several 
inconsistent characteristics. After their violent 
flight through the air, it is only natural to ex- 
pect that they would be at least red hot when 
they land, but this is not so. On one occasion 
a meteor, seen to land on a pile of straw, was 
picked up a few minutes later and found to be 
cold to the touch. It had hardly crushed the 
straw upon which it rested. 

Although such a happening as this may 
seem impossible, the explanation is fairly 
simple. The meteor's temperature as it hurtles 



through the air is extremely high, as we have 
seen, but when it is free in outer space the 
stone is unbelievably cold — probably close to 
the absolute zero of -273 C. 

The heating effect of the atmosphere is 
limited to the object's surface, which burns 
and floats away as ash while the newly re- 
vealed surface is heated in turn. The interior 
of the meteor remains at its original low tem- 
perature, and only a very narrow layer of the 
surface is heated. Thus, when it lands, the 
stone can cool very quickly. 

Some meteors bury themselves far below the 
surface of the earth, while others simply drop 
on the ground. One meteor, weighing 647 
pounds, fell in Hungary, and ploughed into 
the earth to a depth of eleven feet. On the 
other hand, Peary's 36^2-ton Cape York 
meteorite, now housed in the Hayden Plane- 
tarium, was found only partly buried. The 
deeply pitted 153/2-ton Willamette meteorite, 
also in the Planetarium, and the 20-ton 
Bacubirito stone were not deeply buried, but a 
437-pound fragment fell in Iowa and dug 
eight feet into stiff clay. 

Possible origin 

In experimenting with meteorites, scientists 
have found further proof of their contention 
that these stones are the remains of comets. By 
placing specimens in a vacuum, heating them, 
and comparing their light with that of comets 
by means of a spectroscope, it becomes appar- 
ent that the spectra of meteors and comets are 
similar. 

But a still more interesting series of experi- 
ments upon meteorites was made bv Dr. 
Charles P. Lipman, of the University of Cali- 
fornia. After taking extreme care in sterilizing 
his instruments, Doctor Lipman obtained re- 
sults which he believes prove that some 
meteors actually carry in their interiors spore 
forms of certain bacteria. He has isolated 
specimens which seem to be in an early stage 
of evolution similar to that through which 
some of the common bacteria of the earth 
passed millions of vears ago. 

If the discoveries of other biologists should 
prove Doctor Lipman's theory correct, this 
obscure experiment may prove one of the most 
significant findings in modern science, for it 
may answer the age-old question, "Whence 
came life on the earth?" 



303 



Bark Cloth from Africa 

Profile of a primitive clothier. His hands transform 
rough bark into cloth that rivals the product of our modern looms 



By Lucy Pope Cullen 



i ' 



11 



for 



\omorrow," said Mofia, "I 
make a piece of bark cloth 
Mama." 

When I had rallied somewhat from the 
shock of being called "Mama" by a patriarch 
who remembered the Angoni Wars of the last 
century, and who had personally seen Doctor 
Livingstone, I replied politely: 

"Mutende, Mofia!" 

"Mutende" is an extremely useful word in 
the bush country of Northern Rhodesia. It has 
no very definite English translation, but is 
used to express greetings, thanks, approval, en- 
couragement, cordiality; in fact all of the 
more social emotions. Even if you can't say 
anything else in the local African languages, 
this one remark will take you a long way, be- 
cause it shows any native that you meet that 
you have been well brought up and that your 
intentions are good. When you have learned to 
clap your hands, as if applauding, and to nod 
your head in unison with the clapping, you are 
well on the way to becoming really at home in 
the Northern Rhodesian bush. 

When I had clapped, nodded and said, 
"Mutende, Mofia," Mofia clapped, nodded 
and said, "Mutende, Mama." Mine meant, 
"Thank you, it is very kind of you to offer to 
make me a piece of bark cloth," and his meant, 
"Not at all; it will be a pleasure!" 

Beyond civilization 

Mofia is a member of the Lala Tribe of 
northwestern Northern Rhodesia. My hus- 
band and I were in the Lala country on one 
of our periodic camping trips. We lived at the 
Roan Antelope Copper Mines, just below the 



Northern Rhodesia-Belgian Congo border. 
We often spent our holidays driving through 
the surrounding bush ; camping and making 
side excursions on foot or by mashila. We 
found it the best way to see something of the 
native life of the territory. There were eleven 
thousand natives living at the Roan Antelope 
mine, but seeing them there was not at all the 
same thing as seeing them in their natural en- 
vironment. When they come to a European 
community to work, they quickly don Euro- 
pean clothes, including horn-rimmed specta- 
cles ; they buy bicycles and gramaphones, cook- 
ing utensils and farm implements. They play 
football and go to moving picture shows. Their 
children become Boy Scouts, Girl Guides and 
golf caddies. 

To get away from what is popularly known 
as civilization, it is, therefore, necessary to 
strike out into the bush, away from the main 
roads and the European towns. Since North- 
ern Rhodesia has an area of 287,950 square 
miles, with a European population of about 
twelve thousand and a native population of 
over a million, this can be done fairly easily. 

We tarry 

When we came upon Mofia's village dur- 
ing one of our rambles, we intended to ex- 
change a piece of the antelope we had shot for 
some eggs, and then to go right on. So cordial 
and friendly were the villagers, however, and 
so thoroughly had we ourselves fallen into the 
leisurely ways of the country, that we ended 
by pitching camp nearby and staying several 
days. It was a tiny community of only about 
150 people. I call it "Mofia's village" because 
he was its Headman, acting as general super- 
visor of manners and morals and settling dis- 



304 



NATURAL HISTORY, NOVEMBER, 1 936 



putes among the others. Mofia was also the 
official maker of bark cloth. His father and his 
grandfather had made it before him, and he 
took great pride in the family craft. 

Back in the little bush villages life goes on 
much as it has for hundreds of years past. The 
people dress almost exclusively in bark cloth ; 
they make practically everything that they use. 
There is in each community a blacksmith, a 
potter, a mat weaver, a basket weaver and a 
bark cloth maker. 

The right tree 

On the morning following his offer to make 
a piece for me, we went to the village to watch 
him do the work. The first step was to find a 
suitable tree. Accompanied by most of the vil- 
lage, we walked for some distance through the 
bush, passing, of course, thousands of trees en 
route. Most of these Mofia ignored entirely; 
though he paused occasionally to break off a 
twig and bite it, or to crush a leaf in his hand. 
Each time he muttered a few words to him- 
self, shook his head and passed on. In the in- 
terests of general information I asked what 
sort of tree he was looking for. There were, 
Mofia informed me, many sorts that could be 
used, but the particular tree had to be of the 
right age. 

"What age?" I inquired, still hopefully 
pursuing knowledge ; though the five years I 
had already spent in Northern Rhodesia should 
have taught me better. 

"Not too old, Mama," replied Mofia, look- 
ing 1 pained that I should have to have such an 
obvious point explained, "and not too young." 

The final selection was a Musamba tree, 
which measured about eight inches in diam- 
eter. Mofia had brought along an adze made 
in the village forge. With this he felled the 
tree, chopped off a three-foot section and 
cleaned it of its rough outer bark. Slitting the 
exposed white layer of bark from end to end, 
he hammered it briskly to loosen it and then 
pulled it from the log in a single piece, about 
a quarter of an inch thick. Holding this up- 
right with one hand, he shaved it with the 
adze down to about an eighth of an inch. So 
skilfully did he wield his crude little imple- 
ment that the shaved bark was as smooth as if 
it had been planed. It was now placed in water 
to soak until the next day. 

Mofia, it should be noted, was at least 
eighty years old ; probably more. An African 



of his generation seldom kn act age; 

he tells you how tall he was or how main 
children he had when a certain event took 
place. Mofia's oldest child, he told uv 
most shoulder high when Livingstone died. 
Yet all the time he worked on the bark, this 
octogenarian squatted on his haunches on the 
ground, his back erect and his knees Hat 
against his chest. It is an attitude that few 
adult Europeans can maintain for more than 
a minute at a stretch — granting that they can 
assume it at all, which is highly doubtful. 
Mofia rose from several hours of this jack- 
knife posture in a single motion, without even 
putting his hand to the ground to help himself 
up. As I creaked slowly to my own feet, the 
thought occurred to me that perhaps "Mama" 
wasn't such an unsuitable name for him to call 
me, after all. 

Bark to cloth 

When he took the bark out of the water 
next morning it had turned a dark, reddish 
brown, and was pulpy and soft to the touch. 
Now came the most important part of the job, 
and the one whose execution draws the line 
between the expert and the amateur maker of 
bark cloth. Resuming the jack-knife posture, 
Mofia spread the bark out on a log, and be- 
gan to tap it gently all over. The implement 
used was shaped like a hatchet, but had a 
blunt, double edge. The whole surface of the 
cloth had to be tapped twice, the second time 
cross-wise of the first. A false stroke would, 
of course, have made a hole in the soggy mate- 
rial. It took Mofia three hours, but he did not 
miss a fraction of an inch of the surface ; nor 
did he once cut through it. 

The whole village sat with us to watch him 
do the tapping. Mofia, evidently feeling his 
responsibilities as host, told us a number of 
stories as he worked. The natives in these vil- 
lages spend a great deal of time simply sitting 
in the shade carrying on endless conversation 
and telling endless stories. Of course everyone 
knows the stories but this never dulls their 
enjoyment. Each listener chips in with details 
and embellishments that the narrator omits. A 
single story with the most elementary plot can 
be made to last for hours, and it usually does. 
Time means little anywhere in Africa; and in 
such a village means nothing at all. 

The villagers as usual were thoroughly 
familiar with Mofia's stories, and supplied 



BARK CLOTH FROM AFRICA 



305 



the usual Greek chorus effect. It is impossible 
for an African to do anything without falling 
into rhythm ; Mofia's tapping accompanied his 
soft, sing-song voice like the beat of a small 
tom-tom. The tale that stands out most dis- 
tinctly in my memory was related as an actual 
experience of Mofia's : 

To the land of the dead 

He died once, Mofia said, and went to 
"M'bonshi," or Spiritland. After two days 
during which he was greatly embarrassed be- 
cause nobody took the slightest notice of him, 
a disembodied but awful voice suddenly called 
his name. So frightening was it to hear this 
voice coming from nowhere and yet from 
everywhere at once, that Mofia fell down flat 
on his face. The voice said that Mofia's pres- 
ence in Spiritland was a mistake; that he had 
not been called yet, and that he would have to 
go back to earth and wait for his call to come. 

He is waiting now, he said, but next time 
he goes to Spiritland nothing will surprise 
him, for he knows just what it is like. He de- 
scribed it as a vast place with huge stones 
piled on top of one another. The best part of 
it was that he saw in Spiritland every kind of 
antelope in the world. There were all that he 
knew, and a lot that he had never seen before. 
The villagers chimed in here to help him 
name the various antelope ; they evidently 
loved this part of the story, and lingered over 
it as long as possible. White teeth flashed in 
black faces, eyes shone, the tapping accelerated 
and became gay. Spiritland, with all those 
antelope, was plainly going to be a very happy 
hunting ground indeed. 

Spiritland, went on Mofia more soberly, 
after they had finished with the antelope, was 
divided into two parts ; if you get into the sec- 
ond part you never come back. He, of course, 
was only in the first. He saw some of his dead 
friends, notably his own father, looking at him 
from the second part, but was unable to com- 
municate with him. 

"There I was," said Mofia, tapping sadly 
now, as the villagers murmured and shook 
their heads in sympathy, "like a noodle, where 
I wasn't wanted, and I could not even speak 
to my old father!" 

The clinching proof that the place was in- 
deed Spiritland lay in the fact that Mofia's 
father was dressed in the very piece of bark 
cloth in which he, Mofia, had wrapped him 



for burial when he died. The shock of the 
whole experience was so great that for some 
time after Mofia returned to earth he could 
not talk properly, but could only gurgle like 
water coming out of a bottle, to judge by the 
joint demonstration with which he and the 
villagers concluded the narrative. So ob- 
viously convinced were they all of its entire 
reality, that we could only listen in respectful 
silence, and surmise that he had suffered de- 
lirium, or perhaps had a vivid dream. 

By the time the story had reached its end, 
the bark cloth had been tapped sufficiently. 
Stretching was the next step ; this was done by 
twisting it as you wring a towel and pulling 
it at both ends. It stretched amazingly ; when 
it was finally untwisted it was at least four 
times the size of the original piece of bark. It 
was then oiled, to toughen and preserve it. 
Castor oil beans, grown in the village, had 
been boiled up into an exceedingly evil-look- 
ing, dark gray mess, which Mofia intrepidly 
scooped up with his hand and patted over the 
surface of the cloth. The oil-soaked material 
was finally dried for several hours in the sun. 

When it was quite finished, Mofia brought 
it over to where I was sitting and laid it on 
the ground at my feet. 

"Mutende, Mofia," I said, "It is beautiful. 
Mutende!" 

"Mutende, Mama," said Mofia, smiling as 
he clapped and nodded. 

"Mutende, Mama," echoed the faithful 
villagers. 

A memento 

While it was a little stiff at first, the cloth 
has limbered up until it is as soft as a wool 
blanket. The marks of the tapping give it the 
exact texture of a woven material. It is re- 
markably strong and durable ; the friends to 
whom we show it can seldom resist the im- 
pulse to see if they can tear it. So far no one 
has succeeded. It exudes a pleasant, woody 
odor, rather like that of a cedar chest. 

It is not, however, these virtues that make 
the cloth one of my most cherished possessions. 
In its brown folds are memories of a tiny vil- 
lage far out in the African bush, and of a 
slow, easy-going way of life; of a circle of 
happy, absorbed faces surrounding an old man, 
squatting on the ground, tapping rhythmically 
and telling of the antelope in Spiritland. The 
cloth is like a piece of Africa itself. 



306 



NATURAL HISTORY, NOVEMBER, 1 936 




Bark 
Cloth 
from 
Africa 



The MAN who knew Living- 
stone: Mofia, venerable patri- 
arch of a drowsy African vil- 
lage, supervisor of the manners 
and morals of 150 natives 
clothed almost entirely in Bark 
Cloth 



BARK CLOTH FROM AFRICA 



All Photos by A. Douglas Cullen 
307 




(Above) Mofia's raw material: Chipping away the rough outer bark 
with an adze made in the village forge. At least eighty years old, Mofia can 
work in this jackknife-like position for several hours 




(Above) Loosened by brisk hammering, 
the bark is pulled off the log in a single piece 
by the skilled hand of the primitive craftsman 

308 



(Above) Shaving down to an eighth of an 
inch. No carpenter's plane excels the home- 
made adze when manipulated by Mofia 

NATURAL HISTORY, NOVEMBER, 1 936 



M H 




(Above) Bark CLOTH, XOT TAFFY: Mofia and assistant stretching the 
cloth after it has been soaked in water then pounded with a hammer to the 
rhythm of Mofia's tales of the spirit land 







(Above) Untwisted, the cloth has stretched (Above) Castor oil for "tanning": Mofia 
to four times the original length. Now, Mofia softening his handiwork with a native fluid 
can add the finishing touches brewed from castor beans 



BARK CLOTH FROM AFRICA 



3°9 




(Above) Sewing calmly in a land 
where time ?neans nothing: Mafia's 
thread is a strand of bark, his needle a 
product of the village forge 



(Right) His job completed Mofia 
gets a "lift." The cigarette is a section 
of reed, filled with tobacco 

3IO 



NATURAL HISTORY, NOVEMBER, 1 936 



More Fun with Sharks 

The crowning episodes of a shark fisher's long experience- 
encounters with the voracious Tiger Shark, in Bahaman waters 



By Colonel Hugh D. Wise 

U. S. Army, Retired 

STUDY had verified for me the tradition 
that the waters of the West Indies are 
the habitat of sharks in great numbers, of 
many species of unusual size and ferocity, and 
I was anxious to have a try at them with rod 
and reel. Through Mr. H. S. Mazet, co-au- 
thor with Captain Young of a recent book, 
Shark! Shark!, I met Mr. Gillette, President 
of the National Fisheries Corporation, a com- 
mercial company engaged in shark-fishing, and 
I was soon in correspondence with the resi- 
dent manager of the company at Nassau, Mr. 
E. M. Schuetz. Him I found to be not only 
thoroughly informed as to sharks but also to be 
a sportsman, ready to help us with the prepara- 
tion of the little expedition which I was 
planning. 

I think, however, that Schuetz was a little 
nonplussed at the idea of fishing for sharks as 
sport-fish with rod and reel. Nevertheless, he 
got my idea and he thought that the Bahaman 
Tigers would give me all the fight I was 
looking for. "Tiger Shark !" The very name 
sends cold chills through the marrow of a 
Carib and pictures to the shark-hunter the 
great brute which it so well describes. 

Tigers abundant 

Schuetz reported them large, savage, and 
abundant. A letter from him told of the re- 
turn of one of his parties with fifty-one sharks ; 
thirty-one of them Tigers, two fourteen- 
footers and one sixteen-footer. That letter set- 
tled me — I was going! A sixteen-foot Tiger 
would weigh upwards of a ton and could not 



be held on a rod, but what fun trying to do 
it ! The ten-footers, weighing six or seven hun- 
dred pounds, could be handled. 

News went to Schuetz that we were com- 
ing and he began looking up a boat for us. 

My son, Hugh, is as keen a sportsman, or 
should I saying "fishing crank," as is his 
father. My son, John, a Princeton under- 
graduate, is deeply interested in biology and 
zoology, and since Professor Dahlgren, of the 
Biology Department, Princeton University, a 
fishing companion of mine, could not go with 
us, John had to be our biologist, but Dahlgren 
wrote a letter bespeaking for us interest and 
help. J. Victor Coty, the lecturer on fishing 
and an expert movie cameraman, joined us to 
take movies of the sport, undeterred by his ex- 
perience in roughing it with Dahlgren and me 
before. 

Season 

People who are unfamiliar with the tropics 
invariably have exaggerated ideas of the heat, 
so we were the recipients of the usual criticism 
for having selected summer as the time to visit 
Nassau. Had we wished to do so, we could 
not have avoided this, because we were after 
sharks and midsummer is the best season for 
them, and later in the year hurricanes make 
being out in a small boat impracticable. As a 
matter of fact, however, the heat in Nassau 
is no worse than that of midsummer in New 
York and the thick-walled, high-ceilinged 
houses with broad shaded verandas surrounded 
by palm trees make it endurable. Sitting in the 
shade of palms, fanned by ocean breezes, and 
sipping a Planter's Punch, one can really pity 
people at home. 

June 1 6th our party, equipped with eight 



MORE FUN WITH SHARKS 



311 



rods, miles of line, and dozens of hooks and 
leaders; harpoons, harness, and tackle-boxes; 
silk nets and bottles of formaldehyde for the 
biologist ; endless paraphernalia for the photog- 
rapher, and, incidentally, some clothing; em- 
barked on the Munargo at New York. Bound 
on such an expedition, we were naturally more 
or less curiosities to other passengers but their 
interest in our doings was rather surprising. 
On the passage we were kept busy answering 
questions like: "How big are sharks? Do they 
really attack boats? Do they eat men?" One 
young man was nervous about them on bath- 
ing-beaches and wanted to know if there was 
much danger from sharks in the water at 
Coney Island. "Not as much," I replied, "as 
there is from rusty old tin cans, but bottles 
are probably the greatest danger there." 

"Suppose a shark jumps into your boat?" 
asked one girl, in perfect seriousness. 

"Then," said I, "I should write an article, 
for that would be news." 

Swimmers among sharks 

Two and a half days out from New York 
we slid into the amethyst Harbor of Nassau 
to be greeted by a score of dinghies each laden 
with chattering, shouting, native boys who 
howled that coins be tossed for them to dive 
after. Now, these waters are infested with 
sharks but the boys are never hurt by them. 
They are really in no danger from sharks be- 
cause the shark, is, in fact, a timid creature 
which keeps away from such commotion as is 
going on. If the sharks were chummed up and 
excited by the scent of food or blood, these 
boys would not last long, but as it is they have 
little to fear. I would readily insure them for 
a very small premium but I would not go in 
there with them for a considerable sum. There 
you have one of those anomalies which ap- 
parently attach to most shark lore. The gov- 
ernment seems to recognize the element of 
safety in the noise and crowd of the harbor, 
for it forbids these diving boys to ply their 
trade outside. 

For some inexplicable reason, sharks are 
particularly suspicious of dark objects while 
light-colored ones seem to attract them. They 
will take, as bait, a skinned fish in preference 
to a fish with dark hide and they seem to pre- 
fer whitish fish rather than dark ones. This 
is strange, because darkish skates and rays are 

312 



their favorite natural food; these, however, 
are light underneath. 

A striking example of the attractiveness of 
light objects to sharks is told by Captain Wil- 
liam Young who says that one day when tow- 
ing a dead black horse to attract sharks, a 
shark followed but would not come within 
harpoon range. When a newspaper was thrown 
overboard, however, its white flash caused the 
shark to dash up and he was harpooned. 

Camouflage 

Captain Young, in his wide experience with 
sharks, intimates also that this peculiarity 
makes the negroes of the West Indies more 
immune from shark attack than white men. He 
tells how native divers smear their white 
palms and soles with tar, but one scientist 
believes that the protection is due to the fact 
that sharks do not like the smell of tar and 
that even the smell of marlin will keep them 
from a bait. Quite opposed to this theory, 
Mr. Schuetz uses tar liberally on his 
equipment. The buoy and anchor lines of 
his nets are of steamed tarred rope, and bait 
is tied to the meshes with tarred marlin, all of 
which does not seem to discourage the sharks. 
On the other hand, Schuetz absolutely con- 
firms the idea that sharks are attracted by 
light-colored objects and for that reason he 
has, after experiment, adopted white nets 
which he has found to be superior to those of 
the various colors tried, or to nets camouflaged 
to resemble the bottom. In my own experience, 
I have noticed no advantage in any color of 
line, white, green or natural. 

I mention all this to show how different are 
opinions as to the likes and dislikes of this fish. 

While we hung over the rail watching these 
aquatics in which the prizes go immediately to 
the most efficient, Mr. Schuetz bustled aboard 
to meet us — clean-shaven, in a crisp linen suit 
and wearing a straw hat, the typical business- 
man of the tropics. He was so bubbling over 
with interest and so generous with his help 
that, after thanking him for what he had al- 
ready done, I could not resist asking why he 
was so good. "Because," said he, "I am a 
sportsman and I like to help other sportsmen," 
and certainly, while we were in the Bahamas, 
he lived up to that ideal. 

Tackle and equipment unloaded, Hugh and 
I went across the dock to look over the boats 

NATURAL HISTORY, NOVEMBER, 1 93 6 



that Schuetz was holding tentatively for us 
and selected the Malolo B., a thirty-nine-foot 
modified "sea-skiff." She was sound, clean, and 
well-engined ; there were bunks for four, gal- 
ley, toilet, and facilities for food and ice stor- 
age. Aft there was a roomy cockpit and two 
swivel chairs. What appealed to me immedi- 
ately was that the helmsman's wheel, in easy 
reach of all controls, was forward of the chairs 
but in plain view of them. There were some 
details about the boat which might have been 
better, for example: there was no hoisting 
crane for taking aboard big fish, but all in all, 
she was surprisingly well suited to our pur- 
poses, and it must be remembered that our de- 
mands were unusual. 

No one at Nassau had ever seen sharks 
angled for with rod and reel and the ideas of 
John and Coty had never risen above the local 
horizon. Altogether, we were undoubtedly 
pioneers but the natives probably regarded us 
as a bunch of "nuts." At first the boatmen, 
though politely humoring us, clearly could not 
understand, and Schuetz alone seemed to get 
the idea. 

Life in Nassau 

When one steps ashore in Nassau, he is at 
once impressed with the ease and comfort 
which the population, mainly black, enjoys. 

As in other British colonies, the streets are 
clean, but how narrow they are! Cars pass 
cautiously, and at corners they must stop and 
honk before turning. One never knows what 
he may meet around a corner — a bicycle, a 
donkey-cart, or a wheeled sponge-crate, and 
all vehicles keep to the left of the road, thus 
adding to the American's confusion. Horse- 
drawn surreys are still a popular means of 
transportation in Nassau, so when Hugh and 
I had finished our arrangements at the boat we 
chartered a surrey to take us to the hotel, but 
when the poor old horse could not pull us up 
the hill, the driver descended from the box and 
pulled with him. 

With its abundance of tropical foliage Nas- 
sau is quaintly and exotically attractive. 
Sponge marketing, the most important in- 
dustry, is interesting, though drab in color; 
but another, grass-weaving, fills the street mar- 
kets with pretty baskets and bright colored 
hats, which are urged by the native women 
vendors on the visitor. Our party purchased 
some of these, but was saved from buying hun- 



dreds of them only by the greatest self-denial. 
Hugh's photographs show him fishing under 
the shade of a gaudy headgear which was evi- 
dently intended for a black Nassau belle. 

We were there, of course, out of season, so 
most of the big hotels were closed, and we 
made our headquarters at the old Royal Vic- 
toria which, with flagstone terraces, wide bal- 
conies, its general rambling design, and total 
disregard of space, is distinctly tropical. 

Departure at dawn 

During the day Schuetz had given us all 
possible instructions and mainly on his advice 
we decided to start our shark hunt at Andros 
Island. After dinner at the hotel Hugh and I 
went aboard ready to sail at daylight, the boat, 
equipment, and tackle all checked and the 
charts studied. 

Nothing could have been more propitious 
than our start at dawn on that beautiful morn- 
ing. Out of the placid harbor, our engine purr- 
ing rhythmically, we glided onto a gentle roll- 
ing sea. Green palms fringing the coral shore 
nodded farewell in the gentle breeze, and 
houses pink in the rising sunlight blinked good 
luck. 

Those broad inland waterways between the 
Bahaman Islands surpass all description, for, 
exquisite as are the pastel tints along the shores, 
still more beautiful are the shades of blue and 
green separated from them by the line of 
feathery, foaming white breakers, and, over 
all, great drifting masses of cumuli, glistening 
white, silver, rose and gold beneath an azure 
sky. The breath of early sunlit morning is in 
the breeze which soothes the temples, the tang 
of the sea is in the spray which feels good on 
face and tastes good on lips. The very bound 
of the boat seems to lift one's soul above all 
that is of the drab land. 

Bearing away from New Providence Island, 
land sinks from view beneath a rolling sea 
which now in full daylight takes on in one 
direction the deep blue of the Mediterranean 
and, in another, the brilliant green of the 
Chesapeake. 

Poets and artists would stop the engine to 
lie here and drink in all this loveliness, but 
we are only fishermen so we open the throttle 
and drive on toward the sport of which we 
have been dreaming. Southwest we head, fifty 
miles to Andros Island, the former rendezvous 



MORE FUN WITH SHARKS 



313 



of famous pirates and still the habitat of giant 
sharks, swashbucklers of the sea as blood- 
thirsty and as relentless as were Morgan and 
Blackbeard. 

Barracuda as bait 

At noon we slowed down off High Cay to 
troll for bait, but this is not the drudgery one 
might think it to be, for the bait was barracuda 
and that big game-fish is itself well worth com- 
ing for. Not to miss any of the sport, we used 
our light tarpon rods and made the most of 
the fights. 

Barracuda are as savage as sharks and as re- 
lentless in the toll they take of other fish. 
About the only thing in the sea which they 
will not attack is the shark, for about the only 
thing they cannot tear with their terrible 
spiked teeth is the denticled hide of a shark. 
The barracuda is really more to be feared 
than the shark because he can and does fre- 
quent the shallow waters of bathing beaches 
where deaths and injuries inflicted by the bar- 
racuda far exceed those inflicted by the shark 
who is blamed for many of them. 

Hardly were our lines out when a big bar- 
racuda struck and sizzled off two hundred 
yards of Hugh's line in a glorious run. Then 
my reel shrieked and a big barracuda took out 
two-thirds of my line before I checked him. 
In about ten minutes I had him coming and 
within a hundred yards of the boat, when a 
shout went up — "There's a shark after him!" 
The barracuda leaped and came down into 
the white surge which followed him, an added 
strain came on my twelve-thread line and my 
rod bent into a semi-circle. Then the line 
slacked and I wound in a barracuda's head, the 
shark having kept the rest of the fish as his 
share. It must have been a Mackerel Shark 
because we were trolling at about five miles 
an hour and other sharks rarely strike at such 
trolling speed. 

One of the barracudas we caught was such 
a beautiful specimen that Burt, the Carib 
boatman, looking at him, remarked — "He 
looks good enough to eat." 

"Certainly," I replied, "we will eat him 
tonight." 

"No!" shouted he and the captain in horri- 
fied chorus, "He's poisonous !" 

I had always thought that fish-poisoning was 
entirely due to the ptomaines of partial de- 
composition and knowing that this fish was 



fresh, I attributed their protest to native super- 
stition, but I humored them and we did not 
eat the barracuda. Later inquiry proved, how- 
ever, that this belief was general in the Ba- 
hamas, so on my return to New York, I re- 
ported it to Doctor Gudger of the American 
Museum and then I learned how ignorant I 
had been, for in the West Indies there is a 
well-known disease, Ciguatera, caused by the 
eating of certain fish, among them barracudas, 
whose flesh, particularly in the breeding sea- 
son, may be impregnated with toxic secretions.* 
With enough bait, and having had great 
sport getting it, we dropped over to the shark 
grounds in the channel, slowing down to lay 
a slick as we drew near. 

A fin 

I was first in the chair, and Burt put half 
a barracuda on my hook. Before we came to 
a stop and while Burt still stood holding my 
baited hook in his hand, a big fin came up in 
the streak twenty-five yards astern. "Throw 
it!" I yelled and "Plop!" it hit the water a 
few yards in front of the fin. A swirl — a rush 
— he had it! I struck, and out went the line 
with the high pitched whine of the reel while 
Hugh strapped me to the chair. We had a 
great fight, that shark and I, or rather I did, 
before his ugly Tiger mouth showed at the 
surface ten feet away about an hour later. It 
was Burt's first throw but he drove the dart 
deep just above the pectoral fin and as the 
lanyard whirled from the bucket, he gradually 
snubbed it around a cleat. Then the shark 
was hauled in. 

When we came back to the slick I surren- 
dered the chair to Hugh who immediately be- 
came engaged in battle with another three hun- 
dred-pound Tiger. He had a more difficult job 
than I had had, because we had anchored to 
hold against the tide and the anchor was 
down when he got his strike. We could not 
get it aboard, and dangling aweigh three 
fathoms below the bow, it seriously interfered 
with our maneuvering. Nevertheless Hugh 
brought his fish to iron in good style. 

Each took several more sharks that day and 
we both had tired backs when we quit to make 
the anchorage before dark behind the reef at 
Mangrove Cay. We had come after Tigers and 



*Gudger, Dr. E. _W., Poisonous Fishes and Fish Poisons. 
Am. Mus. Nat'l History. Am. Journal of Tropical Medi- 
cine, Vol. 1, No. 1. 



3H 



NATURAL HISTORY, NOVEMBER, 1 93 6 



here they were. There was one slender fish of 
about fifty pounds which still showed the 
leopard spots characteristic of young Tiger 
Sharks. A second, weighing about three 
hundred pounds, had distinct tiger stripes on 
his sturdy body, and a third, about the same 
size but evidently older, was of uniform 
brownish-grey, showing indistinct stripes only 
near his tail. Both of the larger ones were 
vicious devils and when their blunt noses came 
up their big jaws, with cruel triangular ser- 
rate teeth, were snapping like bear traps and 
we understood the dread they inspired in the 
natives. 

The presence of a party like ours in harbor 
at Mangrove Cay is quite an event, so I, who 
remained aboard while the others went ashore, 
received many callers who paddled out to 
satisfy their curiosity, and whom I energeti- 
cally pumped to satisfy mine. When the shore 
party returned they brought some turtle meat, 
langousts, fresh fruit, and a gunny sack full of 
green cocoanuts, whose milk, that most re- 
freshing of tropical drinks, served us well in 
the days to come. 

An outpost village 

Mangrove Cay is a native town of about 
twelve hundred inhabitants stretching in a 
single row of palm-thatched houses for nine 
miles along the shore. Mr. Forsythe, the Brit- 
ish Commissioner, is, I believe, the only white 
man there but he seems to like it for he has 
been there twenty years. Mangrove Cay is his 
kingdom where he is ruler, counselor, friend, 
and advisor to all, in sickness and in health — 
one of those Englishmen who extend British 
influence more, perhaps, than it is carried by 
conquest. 

The natives are a mixture of Carib and 
Negro, varying in type between the two. Some 
of them appear to be pure Carib, with thin 
nose, high cheekbones, straight hair and 
bronze skin while others are distinctly West 
Indian negroes. All of them impress the visitor 
by their kindliness and good humor even more 
than they surprise him by their ignorance. 
Their friendliness to us was demonstrated by 
their insistence upon a ball in our honor. Of 
course we were expected to pay the musicians 
— one of their popular songs carries the refrain, 
"Fine gal, take care of the rich man sailor." 

Andros Island is some hundred miles long 
and forty wide, but very low. From natives 



we heard of fresh water lakes in the interior 
in which were to be found sharks, barracuda 
and other pelagic fishes which, of course, may 
have been swept overland into them by great 
hurricane waves. The sharks are reputed to 
be of great size and ferocity, so fierce, the 
natives said, that the government had warned 
them to avoid those waters, but I am inclined 
to believe that such sharks, if or when there, 
are but trapped and temporary sojourners 
rather than permanent residents and that, 
sooner or later, they will succumb to these un- 
usual conditions.* 

The physiological processes of sharks are 
apparently not so well adapted to life in fresh 
water as are those of some other fishes, vari- 
ous teleosts for example. Certain small rays are 
known to live permanently in some fresh water 
rivers of South America, sharks do ascend the 
Ganges far above salt water, and sharks are 
found in the land-locked fresh water of Lake 
Nicaragua. There is considerable doubt, how- 
ever, among scientists as to whether these 
Nicaragua sharks are a misidentified form of 
wanderer from the sea or whether they are a 
fresh water species. 

After a number of highly exciting encoun- 
ters with Tigers on June 23rd we had to run 
back to Nassau for ice and supplies, and a good 
night's rest in a comfortable bed would not 
be unacceptable. Also, I had picked up con- 
siderable native lore which I wished to discuss 
with men in whose opinions I had confidence. 

A quick-change artist 

One such notion was that a Nurse Shark, 
when attacked, could tighten his hide to resist 
the harpoon. Natives generally believed this, 
as also did the British Commissioner who 
thought it might be the origin of the native ex- 
pression, "setting his skin," by which they im- 
ply a man's "preparation to resist." Mr. 
Schuetz, Captain Brown, and the crews of the 
shark-fishing tugs of the National Fisheries 
Corporation, all confirmed this and were will- 
ing to be so quoted. 

Other sharks, too, may have this same ca- 
pacity and experiments proved to me that a 
harpoon which would bounce from the hide 
of a live shark, as from a steel plate, could be 



•Report of C. M. Breder, Jr.. "Ecology of Fresh Water 
Lakes, Andros Island," N. Y. Zoological Society, Vol. 
XVIII, No. 3. 



MORE FUN WITH SHARKS 



315 



easily driven into it when the fish was dead. 
The next year, Schuetz, on the basis of ex- 
periments and observations made by him, of- 
fered the following explanations: in the hide 
of a Nurse Shark, the denticles are set some- 
what like hexagonal tiles in a bathroom floor, 
the tissues between them being like the cement 
between the tiles. When agitated or touched, 
the shark voluntarily or by a reflex action 
draws these "tiles" together so that even a 
harpoon point or a knife edge does not pene- 
trate between them, thus "setting his skin" 
into a continuous sheet of resistant armor 
plate. 

Attacks by sharks 

I especially wished to check up on those 
lurid yarns about fights between man and 
shark in the shark's element — water. 

There are reliable accounts of swimmers 
who have rescued others by frightening away 
the shark, such, for example, as the heroic 
saving of a man in Australia for which the 
rescuer was decorated by the King. Personally 
I have never believed that a man swimming 
could successfully fight a big shark with a 
knife. To drive a knife through the denticled 
hide would require tremendous power, and 
there would be small chance of its reaching 
one of the two vital and well-protected spots, 
heart or brain, even though the shark remained 
passive during the operations. Meantime, one 
slash with his teeth or one wallop with his 
tail would end the fight. 

Though I have minimized probability of 
danger from shark attacks, yet I recognize that 
there are many well-authenticated instances in 
which sharks have attacked men and even 
boats. 

Doctor Gudger has told me how at Key 
West his boat was attacked by a large wounded 
Tiger Shark who splintered the boat-stem 
with his strong teeth. Doctor C. F. Holder, in 
his book, relates similar experiences at Tor- 
tugas. Of course reports of such scientists are 
incontrovertible. 

Mr. E. M. Schuetz has recorded his per- 
sonal experiences in his diary, from which he 
allows me to quote these instances. 

In May, 1934, in the Berry Islands, a large 
Tiger Shark, wounded by a harpoon, turned 
upon a ten-foot dory, seized its bow in his jaws 
and shook the boat so violently that its three 
occupants were thrown into its bottom. "We 



were like ice in a cocktail shaker," said 
Schuetz. Such an experience, however, does 
not seem to have chilled Schuetz' enthusiasm 
for shark-hunting nor to have unsteadied his 
aim with the harpoon. 

In June, 1933, at Gorda Cay, a Mackerel 
Shark which Schuetz was chasing, turned 
upon the dinghy and left some of his teeth in 
the keel. In the same month, a Yellow Shark, 
missed with the harpoon, seized the shaft in 
his teeth and bit it into three pieces. 

To my mind, these incidents do not indi- 
cate aggressiveness on the part of the sharks 
but rather retaliation to attacks made upon 
them. 

One of the most exciting experiences related 
to me by Schuetz was that of a large shark, 
who, when hooked on a hand-line, seized the 
rudder and then the propeller of the boat 
which he might have capsized had he not been 
cut loose. 

Another of Schuetz' accounts seems to show 
not only the viciousness of a shark but also 
some degree of intelligence. While Schuetz 
was casting from a ledge, a large shark tried 
to swipe him off with its tail. Schuetz, dodg- 
ing the tail, quit fishing and clambered up 
from the ledge, which shows, at least, that 
Schuetz had reasoning power.* 

At Nassau the following story was widely 
circulated and I was able to interrogate sev- 
eral witnesses. Six men had been recently 
drowned from a capsized boat. The bodies lay 
at the bottom while sharks circled around 
but did not disturb them. When, however, 
the bodies began to be raised with grappling- 
hooks the sharks dashed in and tore them to 
pieces. It would seem that the semblance of 
life which movement gave them attracted the 
sharks. 

// caught among sharks 

The discussion of all this with experienced 
fishermen in Nassau led naturally to the old 
question of what a man should do if he found 
himself in the water with sharks near. All of 
us agreed that he should kick, splash, yell, and 
raise all possible commotion but none of us 
would wish to be held responsible for giving 
such advice. Frankly, under such circum- 



*Further consideration of this incident, however, leads 
Schuetz to believe that the shark was really not swiping at 
him, but simply swung his tail out of water with a sudden 
turn when he was frightened by another man on the bank. 
What a pity to spoil such a good story. 



3l6 



NATURAL HISTORY, NOVEMBER, 1 93 6 



stances, I should be willing to let the shark 
have the swimming hole and I would raise 
no question of riparian privilege. 

The foregoing stories, received first-hand 
from men whose training and experience elim- 
inate probability of excited exaggeration or 
hasty conclusions, can be taken as bases for 
deduction. 

Davy Jones's surprise witness 

A remarkable story, vouched for by the 
Secretary of the Institute of Jamaica and for 
which there seems to be documentary evidence, 
is that, in the 18th century the American 
privateer Nancy was seized by H. M. S. Spar- 
row in the Carribean Sea and her captain was 
taken to Port Royal for trial. Because of lack 
of evidence against him, the captain was about 
to be acquitted when the commander of H. M. 
S. Abergavenny came in with the ship's papers 
of the Nancy which had been thrown over- 
board but which the commander of the 
Abergavenny had taken from the stomach of 
a shark caught off the coast of Haiti. On the 
evidence in these papers the captain of the 
Nancy was convicted. These papers, known as 
the "shark's papers" were put on exhibition in 
the Institute of Jamaica where it is said they 
may still be seen.* 

The only shark attack which has ever come 
under my personal observation occurred in the 
Philippines, where my battalion was resting 
up at a God-forsaken little coast town after 
an arduous campaign. One of the fish pounds 
had been torn loose at the bottom from the 
supporting poles, and a number of canoes 
clustered about it for repair work. The first 
native to go down, taking rattan withes in 
his teeth, dove in. Hardly had he disappeared 
when there was a swirl below and he popped 
to the surface followed by a huge shark which 
whirled and dashed away. Amid great noise 
and confusion the man was hauled into a canoe. 
His loincloth had been ripped from him and 
on his thigh were two ugly crescent-shaped 
lacerations from shark teeth. 

My explanation of this incident is that while 
the shark lay at the opening in the pound, the 
diver plunged almost onto him and that the 
surprised shark whirled and seized the man. 
Having tasted blood, the shark might have 
been expected to finish the diver but, follow- 
ing him to the surface, he was frightened away 

•Brooklyn Museum of Science Bulletin, Vol. Ill, No. 1. 



by the commotion in the canoes. Be that as it 
may, the bitten man gave up fishing and 
thenceforth took employment on a copra plan- 
tation where, in the tops of coconut palms, he 
probably felt safe from sharks. 

We got a late start from Nassau on the 
morning of June 24th, because it was the 
birthday of the Prince of Wales. That made 
it almost impossible to get a Nassauvian to 
work or even to bring us supplies — holiday is 
holiday in Nassau. When we finally did get 
off we ran to West End Bay, on New Provi- 
dence Island, but we had saved time by pur- 
chasing bait in Nassau. 

A novel interest in this fishing in the Ba- 
hamas was that we could see through the clear 
water what was happening at the other end 
of the line, sometimes five or six fathoms 
away. In Nassau I had tried to get an electric 
light bulb on a waterproof cable to connect 
with the boat's circuit and to be put over- 
board. The Prince of Wales having prevented 
this, I contrived an apparatus with the water 
glass and an electric torch, and with it spent 
part of the night in observation. The light 
attracted fish and, though the apparatus was 
none too satisfactory, I did see some interesting 
things before a barracuda, leaping at the light, 
nearly caught my hand and forced me to aban- 
don the contraption. 

Fish tactics 

At sunrise we went to bait fishing with hand 
lines, "horsing" the fish in so quickly that we 
got after the sharks early. Soon after I had 
taken the chair I was hung onto another Tiger 
and fought with him till he was within fifty 
feet of the boat. We saw that fellow several 
times and knew that he was easily a five hun- 
dred pounder but he was not making the fight 
he could have made. After his preliminary rush 
he yielded readily to my pumping and then 
alternately followed in unresisting, or brought 
the line "solid." When we got a close view 
this peculiar performance was explained. He 
was a "roller." He would lie alongside the 
leader and move along with it, then, in a swirl 
of water, he would turn across the wire and 
roll it several times around him. Lying broad- 
side to my pull he could not be budged until 
my pumping unwound him. Again and again 
this was repeated. Four turns of the leader 
around his thick body would bring the line 
against his rough hide and he seemed to be 



MORE FUN WITH SHARKS 



317 



trying to do just that. Finally he succeeded, 
and "Snap!" — he was gone with two dollars 
worth of hook, swivels and leader hanging 
from his ugly jaws. 

This was the first time I ever actually 
watched the performance of this trick but I am 
satisfied that it has been played on me many 
times. Once before this I saw a shark suddenly 
cease pulling, run under the line and sand- 
paper it in twain with his denticled hide. Un- 
questionably, too, sharks do sometimes reach 
the line with their teeth but more often, I be- 
lieve, they cut loose with the rough hide of 
their fins or bodies. 

The best catch 

We returned to the anchor, picked up the 
gong, Burt laid a new slick and Hugh floated 
out a fresh barracuda. "Who-a-a" went the reel, 
with that bass note which means a slow run, 
and then the fish turned and swam leisurely 
toward the boat. He did not seem to know that 
he was hooked or if he did know it he was not 
in the least perturbed. When we saw him 
with the hook in his mouth, and saw what a 
big fellow he was, I yelled for the gong to go 
over and with Kemp's "Over, Sir!" the shark 
woke up and gave us a grand run followed by 
an hour of forward, back, starboard, port, 
while Hugh pumped and sweated. When the 
double came up the fight was nowhere near 
over for, with another surge, out went three 
hundred yards of line to be pumped back only 
to go again. 

When after several such runs he was 
brought to the surface a hundred feet away, 
the shark changed tactics and began surging 
in small circles, diving and looping underwater 
and twice he went over backwards, rolling as 
he looped, like an airplane in an Immelmann 
turn — all in plain sight and to the accompani- 
ment of a shrieking reel. What a fight! But 
Hugh was master of it and finally the shark 
committed the tactical error of swimming too 
close to Burt's poised dart which flew out and 
struck into the gills. A rush to the end of the 
lanyard, now leaving a pink trail behind him, 
and the shark was hauled in for the coup de 



grace — vitality and power conquered by a 
tenth of its strength, now slumped in the 
chair. 

This Great Blue was the finest shark of our 
expedition and he deserves record of his mea- 
surements in this, his obituary : length, 1 1 feet, 
7 inches; girth, 6 feet, 2 inches; weight, 954 
pounds. 

What a grand four days we had had — three 
or four big sharks each day and licked by 
larger ones than we had caught ! We had 
found the lair of the Tiger and we were de- 
termined to go back to fight it out with him 
as soon as we could. 

I should like to acquaint readers of Nat- 
ural History with the many other interest- 
ing experiences we had with sharks on that 
expedition in the Bahamas and on a subsequent 
one the following year; but space does not 
permit. Besides, I hope soon to tell the whole 
story in a book. 

L'envoi 

There comes an end to every fishing trip ; 
but part of the fun is always planning for the 
next. Cruising northward last time through 
the Gulf Stream, the high "gafftopsail" of a 
Hammerhead followed in our wake and I 
found myself longing to have him on my line. 
One might think that six days in a little toss- 
ing boat, through four squalls, ought to have 
taken the edge off our keenness but they had 
not. Why should a man go to considerable ex- 
pense, endure many discomforts, and do so 
much hard work for the sole purpose of match- 
ing his wits and strength against those of a 
fish, when he does not want the fish anyway? 

I can explain this no more than Carl Akeley 
could have explained the fascination of the 
African jungle — no more than Admiral Byrd 
can explain the delights of an Antarctic 
"igloo." 

Perhaps it is the primitive instinct some of 
us have inherited from caveman ancestors and 
which centuries of civilization have not eradi- 
cated but, thank God, love of the chase is still 
in me, so 

WIND IN! 



3i8 



NATURAL HISTORY, NOVEMBER, 1 936 



More Fun with Sharks 




^Z&gSsiX&g 



Good BAIT : barracuda. Catching bait in the cause angling for barracudas is a sport in itself, 
Bahamas for shark fishing is not drudgery be- well worth the coining for 



MORE FUN WITH SHARKS 



319 



You can't stop him, so settle 
back in the harness and squeeze 
down the drag, while the big 
rod bows and the line hums like 
a telegraph wire 




Brace your feet and hold fast when your 
back will stand no more pumping and your 
line will not bear the strain of it. Never fight 
a big fish when he wants to fight. Never 
let him rest when he does not want to fight 



NATURAL HISTORY, NOVEMBER, 1 936 



One who knows sharks, 
E. M. Schuetz, Bahaman Man- 
ager, National Fisheries Cor- 
poration. His business is the 
handling of tliem commercially; 
his fun, the catching of thou- 
sands of them 





Pump him up! Your back may ache, arms 
may be numb, hands may burn; but you must 
pump him up 



MORE FUN WITH SHARKS 



321 




(Above) An armed enemy who would give 
no quarter. When, with glaring eyes and snap- 
ping jaws, he is brought to surface, he excites 
no pity 

(Below) Ten feet of carcharias taurus, 
landed after a three-hour battle 




322 



NATURAL HISTORY, NOVEMBER, 1 936 




(Above) "At THE mast": a big Dusky, brought 
in after a three-hour fight. This Carcharinus 
obscurus is one of the stubbomest of sharks 

(Beloio) The engine purrs homeward but 
the angler, dreaming, still sees dark graceful 
forms slithering through crystal depths 




MORE FUN WITH SHARKS 



323 



The History of the Valley of Mexico 

Explore with the archaeologist an ancient trail which 
leads to the origins of the famous Aztec culture and sheds new light 
on the evolution of Mexican art 



By George C. Vaillant 

Associate Curator of Mexican Anthropology, 
American Museum of Natural History 

[This article is a resume of the results of the ex- 
peditions by the author for the American Museum of 
Natural History from 1928 to 1936. — The Editors.} 

That formidable term archaeology might 
be defined as history which you can see. 
The casual traveller, observing the archi- 
tecture, painting, and social customs of a for- 
eign country tends to take the archaeological 
point of view, since the picture he forms is 
visual rather than mental. On the other hand 
the school or college student in learning about 
that same country, would use printed texts 
giving the dates of sovereigns, economic situa- 
tions, and political actions and would thus 
create in himself an intellectual impression, 
based on ideas rather than images. 

Written records scanty 

Now the Valley of Mexico before the Span- 
ish Conquest was inhabited by peoples who 
developed writing very late in their career. 
Moreover this written record was largely pic- 
torial so that events could be expressed, but not 
ideas. Another factor which rendered this tex- 
tual material even more meagre, was the sys- 
tematic destruction of the greater part of the 
native archives, since the Spanish Conquerors 
believed these writings to be idolatrous and 
works of the devil. Thus the historian of In- 
dian Mexico finds even the short span of time in 
which writing existed, very imperfectly covered ; 
and, to form a consecutive picture of the evolu- 



tion of human culture in Mexico, he must rely 
on the visible remains of Indian culture, the 
architectural remains, pottery fragments, stone 
and clay sculptures, frescos, and whatever else 
has survived the action of time and the de- 
struction of war. 

Since the reader would find it an excessive 
labor to look at thousands of photographs, 
plans, and specimens, which compose the ex- 
isting history of the Valley of Mexico, the ac- 
companying chart, drawn by William Baake, 
has been prepared as a digest of the various ele- 
ments' which reflect the history of man in 
Central Mexico. This article will briefly in- 
terpret these data from the conventional his- 
torical point of view. 

The Copilco-Zacatenco Culture 

(Approximately 200 B.C.-400 A.D.) 

The earliest people yet discovered in the 
Valley of Mexico are nameless. While rela- 
tively uncivilized in comparison to the Aztecs, 
yet judged from the broad viewpoint of Indian 
culture in North and South America, they 
are by no means primitive. They had several 
types of well made pottery, the decoration of 
which showed the beginnings of a sense of 
design but chiefly satisfied aesthetic yearning in 
lustrous surfaces and variations in form and out- 
line. Stone and bone tools were competently 
made, and grinding-stones and mortars attested 
to dependence on a vegetable diet produced by 
agriculture. Huts must have been made of 
wattle and daub, but as yet no complete plan 
of one has been recovered. Religious beliefs 
are reflected by the common equipment of the 



324 



NATURAL HISTORY, NOVEMBER, 1 93 6 



dead with clay vessels and other objects for 
use in the after life. Chiefly, however, religion 
coincides with art in the production of many 
clay figurines, usually female. These may have 
been used as votive objects or as household 
images of saints, such as are used in Christian 
worship today. From these little idols we see 
that weaving must have been known, since 
the figures commonly wear elaborately twined 
turbans. While the form of government and 
other aspects of social organization remain 
lost to us, one human activity, trade, may be 
discovered through the occasional occurrence 
in the excavations of jade ornaments and shells 
brought from the south and west of Mexico. 

These earliest remains are called the Co- 
pilco-Zacatenco culture from the two princi- 
pal sites where they were found. Speculation 
as to the identity and tribal affiliation of the 
makers is fruitless, when there is no mention 
of them in myth or legend. Yet from the styles 
and types of their artifacts we can readily dis- 
tinguish whatever sites they occupied. It is 
difficult to determine when the makers of the 
Copilco-Zacatenco culture flourished, but the 
matter is worthy of some speculation. 

Archaeological dating, in the absence of 
specific written testimony, depends on stratig- 
raphy, the study of the sequence in the ground 
of layers of human culture. Especially favor- 
able for such research are rubbish heaps, since 
the objects at the base of an undisturbed mid- 
den must be older than those at the top, which 
were obviously the most recently deposited. 
One bed of Copilco-Zacatenco refuse attained 
a depth of twenty-five feet. By carefully peel- 
ing the strata, it was possible to distinguish 
five successive styles of figurines evolving one 
from another. It must have taken several cen- 
turies for the ordinary household debris of 
a village to accumulate to such a depth, and 
the evidence of artistic development involving 
the slow gradual evolution of an unadvanced 
culture confirms this impression of a long 
lapse of time. A very rough comparison of this 
accumulation with another dump in New 
Mexico of known duration suggests the pas- 
sage of some five or six centuries. 

The Cuicuilco-Ticoman Culture 

(Approximately 400-700 A.D.) 

The Copilco-Zacatenco culture, just de- 
scribed, ended abruptly. It was replaced by 



another culture with new pottery styles and 
figurines, the makers of which were distin- 
guished from their predecessors by a slightly 
different physical type. No tribal name in- 
dividualizes these new-comers, so that the 
selection of a distinguishing term, Cuicuilco- 
Ticoman, was based on the type sites where 
this culture was discovered. 

The craftsmanship of the Cuicuilco-Tico- 
man culture was superior to its predecessor. 
Sculpture, to judge from the little clay figu- 
rines, showed considerable anatomical fidelity 
and pottery decoration is characterized by a 
greater capacity in design. However, various 
culture traits imply an intellectual advance 
and the possibility that this culture contained 
the germs from which grew the great the- 
ocracies so characteristic of Mexico. For ex- 
ample, several idols of stone and clay represent 
a specific divinity, the Fire God, who plays 
. an important part in later theological concep- 
tions. Previously in Copilco-Zacatenco times, 
there had been no visible attempt to differenti- 
ate formally the various divinities. Ceremonial 
architecture, like the great oval mound at 
Cuicuilco, and other mound sites in Puebla 
and Morelos, attest to a centralized govern- 
ment, probably priestly, which could control 
and direct the tribal activities. 

Whereas the preceding Copilco-Zacatenco 
culture seems relatively restricted to the im- 
mediate vicinity of the Valley of Mexico, 
Cuicuilco-Ticoman is more widely spread, ex- 
tending into Morelos and Puebla and as far 
east as Vera Cruz. Local styles indicate that 
there were probably several separate tribal 
entities within the wider culture group. 

Dating the cultures 

The element of time is baffling and complex. 
In the Valley of Mexico we know from the 
evidence of stratification that the Cuicuilco- 
Ticoman culture supplanted the previous one. 
There is evidence in Morelos that the culture 
existed in a crude and early form contem- 
poraneously with Copilco-Zacatenco. Presum- 
ably then the Cuicuilco-Ticoman complex 
after attaining a certain cultural level invaded 
the Valley from outside and driving out its 
previous occupants held it for themselves. 
Trade pieces from the succeeding Toltec 
civilization, which shows strong indications of 
having originated in a branch of Cuicuilco- 



THE HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF MEXICO 



325 



Ticoman, suggest a partial overlap. There- 
fore since the great Toltec site of Teotihuacan 
is supposed to have been founded around the 
beginning of the eighth century, we have a 
rough terminal date. Stratigraphy shows three 
time phases disclosed in rubbish beds a third 
to a half as deep as the Copilco-Zacatenco 
middens. Thus if we allow three centuries for 
the later culture and six for the earlier we 
arrive at the rough approximation of 400- 
700 AD for the duration of Cuicuilco-Tico- 
man and 200 BC to 400 AD for Copilco- 
Zacatenco. A confusing factor is the presence 
of a lava flow which surrounds the Cuicuilco 
Mound, and suggests great antiquity. How- 
ever, as there is no good internal means for 
dating lava flows, it is safer to place this one 
as late on the basis of the material beneath it, 
than to make a wild shot in the dark at the 
age of the flow and ignore the archaeological 
evidence. 

The Toltec Civilization 
(700-1100 A.D.) 

The next group to occupy the Mexican 
scene are the Toltecs, who bear the name 
given them by the wild tribes who supplanted 
them. There exist also traditional accounts 
distorted by myth that elucidate certain events 
of that time which ended in disasters produced 
by drought and the invasions of wild tribes. 
The clearest picture of Toltec civilization is 
given by the visual elements existing at the 
archaeological sites of Teotihuacan and Azca- 
potzalco, which tradition ascribes to the 
Toltecs. 

Using the same criteria (pottery, stone, and 
architecture) that we used for our estimate 
of the rather drab cultures of Copilco-Zaca- 
tenco and Cuicuilco-Ticoman, we find evi- 
dence of a great material and intellectual 
advance. Pottery divides itself into well made 
vessels for domestic use and ornamental ves- 
sels for service in rituals, which carry complex 
designs involving theological symbolism. Sculp- 
ture progresses from simple beginnings in the 
Ticoman styles to sophisticated presentations 
of human beings and grotesque divinities. The 
mold was introduced at this time so that votive 
objects could be standardized and contribute 
thereby to a more rigid observance of ritual. 
Stone sculpture was developed to the point of 
carving decorative friezes in high relief as 



well as massive figurines of heroic size to sym- 
bolize the gods. One of the frescos that has 
survived shows an elaborate ceremony where 
ornately garbed priests make burnt offerings 
to massive idols. 

Social organization seems to show the same 
advance manifested in the material culture. 
A government, presumably priestly since the 
emphasis everywhere is on religious symbolism, 
was sufficiently well organized to induce the 
people to rear a sacred city, laid out not only 
according to plan but also according to ele- 
vation, to judge from the harmonious group- 
ing of temples and platforms of various 
heights. The spacious disposition of rooms in 
the residential structures indicates that living 
conditions had improved, at least for the rul- 
ing class. Religion gradually became trans- 
formed from an unspecialized direct worship 
of two or three major divinities to a highly 
specialized ritual involving many grades of 
priests to serve a number of gods with care- 
fully defined functions. In design, a rich 
symbolism suggests if not a system of writing 
at least the beginning of one, and there is even 
some evidence that the ritual calendar so 
characteristic of Central American civilization 
was in use. Finally the far flung sites where 
material of Toltec type is found, indicate a 
cultural dominion over a very wide territory. 

Tradition as we have seen ascribes the fall 
of the Toltecs to a prolonged drought fol- 
lowed by the invasions of wild tribes some- 
time into the twelfth century. Certainly there 
is no evidence at Teotihuacan of anything so 
sudden as a siege followed by a raid of the 
sacred city. The wild tribes must have filtered 
in very gradually since there are tales of the 
newcomers marrying Toltec women and ab- 
sorbing the local culture. Yet many Toltec 
towns must have survived after the collapse of 
the principal city. The archaeological evidence 
at Azcapotzalco discloses a late period not 
found at Teotihuacan, where there was a rich 
if decadent culture, suggesting that long twi- 
light of the Roman Empire found in the 
Byzantine civilization. 

The Chichimec Period 
(1100-1350 A.D.) 

Historical tradition which tells of the in- 
trusion of the wild tribes to bring an end to 
the Toltec dominion, is sustained by the 



326 



NATURAL HISTORY, NOVEMBER, 1 936 



archaeological evidence. Overlying many Tol- 
tec sites one finds pottery and figurines which 
by their heterogeneity in shape and design 
suggest the presence of various tribal groups. 
In fact in many cases there is a precise correla- 
tion between the tribes mentioned in the 
chronicles and the pottery types found in the 
regions occupied by these peoples. The tradi- 
tional date for the dispersal of the Toltecs and 
the coming of the migrant peoples in the 
twelfth and thirteenth centuries is confirmed 
by trade pottery which also appears in sites of 
the same period in Yucatan. 

Previous to the twelfth century the various 
groups seemed to participate in a succession of 
common cultures culminating in the Toltec 
civilization. After this time we enter a period 
where highly specialized local cultures suggest 
a complete lack of political unity, an impres- 
sion borne out by the tribal traditions which 
describe an infinite succession of petty wars. 
In the early part of the fourteenth century 
various new groups are reported to have 
entered the Valley bringing with them a 
knowledge of writing and the worship of 
Tezcatlipoca, the chief god in the Mexican 
pantheon. Coincident with this sudden en- 
trance of civilization, the political picture 
changes. By the middle of the fourteenth cen- 
tury two great city states, Azcapotzalco and 
Texcoco, succeeded in dominating their neigh- 
bors and mutually contested the hegemony of 
the Valley. 

The Aztec Period 
(1350-1520 A.D.) 

The situation became like that in modern 
Latin America, where people partaking of a 
common culture and speaking a common lan- 
guage strive for political dominance. The 
native histories, in which improved proficiency 
in writing enable the student more exactly to 
follow political events describe in great detail 
the struggle between the brute strength of 
Azcapotzalco and the cultured guile of Tex- 
coco. By the end of the fifteenth century the 
former had emerged victorious. 

At this point the Aztecs appear on the scene 
as a political power. For nearly a century they 
had been a poor and insignificant tribal group. 
In the first quarter of the fifteenth century 
they seem to have instigated a general revolt 
against Azcapotzalco, inducing not only lesser 



towns like Tacuba but even the shattered 
power of Texcoco to take arms against the 
oppressor. They won a signal victory and with 
their allies extended their dominion year by 
year until shortly before the Spanish Conquest 
in 15 19, they received tribute from all of 
southern Mexico as well as Guatemala and 
the Vera Cruz coast plain. 

We have abundant information on the Aztec 
civilization from the first hand accounts of 
Spaniards, and Spanish-educated natives. The 
economic and social life of the people was 
focused on religion. All life centered in the 
nourishment and placation of a complex and 
numerous group of gods. The priests being 
spiritually in closer kinship to the divinities not 
only led in sacrifice and fasting but also in- 
structed and controlled the civil population in 
the performance of their duties. 

Religious calendar 

Although infinite subdivisions of class and 
trade took place in the civil population as 
their culture grew more complex, the religious 
ritual expanded to control these new develop- 
ments. The calendar or sacred almanac was 
an effective means for this domination of re- 
ligion over civil life. Every day and every 
night was under the protection of one or an- 
other of the various gods and goddesses who 
had to be appeased. Special gods presided over 
the weeks and months. So completely were the 
people governed by the calendar that at the 
completion of their cycle of fifty-two years, a 
large unit of time corresponding to our cen- 
tury, they thought that the world might end 
if the gods were not sufficiently propitiated 
to renew life again. 

Before the new year, all hearths were ex- 
tinguished, all household utensils broken and 
discarded, the people gave themselves up to 
fasting and lament. The priests repaired to a 
high hill just outside of Mexico City and made 
sacrifices. When the gods signified their ap- 
proval, at dawn of the New Cycle, a new 
fire was kindled in the heart of a sacrificed 
slave, and runners with torches lit from this 
blaze ran to light again the hearths of temples 
and houses in every part of the Valley. Great 
rejoicing arose, and the people redecorated 
their homes and temples, made new house- 
hold furnishings, and were ready to enjoy the 
life secured then for another fifty-two years. 



THE HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF MEXICO 



327 



Many writers have called attention to the 
drama of the custom but it has a very strong 
archaeological significance as well. This whole- 
sale destruction of property at the end of the 
old cycle must have left enormous accumula- 
tions in every village. In various excavations 
in the Valley we have found deposits of 
broken pottery that appear to be the result 
of mass breakage and not the gradual accumu- 
lation of material discarded in the course of 
everyday life. It seems perfectly logical to 
identify these dumps as the result of cyclical 
destruction. Moreover the practice of succes- 
sively enlarging temples may result from the 
renovations undertaken at the birth of the 
new cycle. 

It is feasible, therefore, to correlate archaeo- 
logical styles with these cyclical destructions 
and renovations and thereby arrive at an 
absolute instead of a relative dating for Aztec 
culture periods. With the aid of stratigraphical 
data from ordinary middens, it was possible 
to isolate the dumps emanating from the New 
Fire ceremonies of 1507, the last ceremony 
before the Conquest in 15 19, of 1455, and of 
1403. The Mexican excavations at Tenayuca 
revealed five renovations of a temple, that 
might be correlated with the cyclical rites of 
1507, 1455, i4o3, 1351, and 1299. The in- 
ternal evidence of types and styles seems to 
substantiate the hypothesis. Material from the 
dumps of 1455 and 1403 is rare in Tenoch- 
titlan, the ancient Mexico City, whose im- 
portance was relatively insignificant during 
that period, but is especially common in the 
region controlled by Texcoco, the dominant 
center at that time. A change from non-Aztec 
to pure Aztec architectural style at Tenayuca 
corresponds to the renovations of 1351, when 
Aztec culture began to flourish during the era 
of the final unification of the Valley. 

Progress 

Thus we have evolved a finely graded in- 
strument to compare the visual information 
gained by excavation with the textual history 
of the documents. Instead of an impression 
of a land torn by intensive strife as set forth 
in the chronicles, we see through archaeology 
a steady cultural advance. Houses become suc- 
cessively larger and more logical in plan. 
Temples grow in size and majesty. Sculpture 
becomes more skillful. The ceremonial carv- 



ings and frescos reflect the increasing com- 
plexity of the theology, until we can visualize 
the abstruse developments mentioned by the 
historians. In the refuse heaps we find more 
kinds of things made in more varied ways. 
Dumps of towns under Texcocan domination 
produce finer objects than do those of the 
Mexico City Aztecs, exactly reflecting the his- 
torical position of the Texcocans as an older, 
more civilized and better established group 
than the Aztec who were militarists, only in 
later times able to enjoy the fruits of civiliza- 
tion. In one style of pottery it seems possible 
to see a dim reflection of the national state of 
mind, epistolary designs at the time of the 
introduction of writing, formal ornateness at 
the renascence of Texcocan dominion, coarse 
conventionalization during the period of politi- 
cal expansion, and finally the totally new con- 
ception of naturalism when the Valley tribes 
settled down to enjoy the fruits of Conquest. 
Especially significant are the abundant trade 
wares attesting to commerce and the tributes 
wrung from subject tribes. The conclusion one 
reaches is that human culture in the Valley of 
Mexico continued to progress during the four- 
teenth and the fifteenth centuries, in spite of 
bitter political struggles. Indeed were one to 
study the history of Europe and the United 
States with personalities and national situa- 
tions erased, there would likewise appear an 
orderly and brilliant ascent to successively 
higher levels of civilization. 

Archaeological research in Mexico stops 
with the Spanish Conquest. It is tempting to 
think of using the spade to evaluate the later 
phases of Mexican history, during the Colonial 
Period, the Republic, and the modern era of 
increased mechanization. Perhaps then we 
would be able more fully to formulate the 
nature of the data acquired by archaeological 
research. We can see the development of 
civilization and the fruits of human activity, 
but the actions of individuals and tribal groups 
are conspicuously absent. Yet the impression 
remains that, even if perfection demands the 
presence of the individual in the pages of 
Mexican Indian history, it would mean adding 
to the present record, not changing it. One is 
tempted to enunciate the heresy that human 
progress does not depend on political parties 
or economic creeds, but rather on the con- 
tinuous effort of mankind to dominate nature 
and to develop a life worth the cost of living it. 



328 



NATURAL HISTORY, NOVEMBER, 1 936 



34i 



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Panel III 

The Chichimec Period 

(1100-1315A.D.) 



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My in Ihc Vnll.y. 




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Panel IV 
Aztec Period 
(M25-1520 A.D.) 



















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Rolling Down to Mexico 

A journey in photographs, by Charles Coles, Staff Photographer 
of the American Museum, in which Natural Historv .Magazine 
blazes the trail pictorially for motorists who covet the varied 
charms of a foreign country. Such a trip was not possible until the 
763-mile road from Texas to Mexico City was thrown open to 
American tourists last July 

Welcome to Mexico: the inevitable customs inspection is thor- 
ough but courteous. Porters, subsisting only on the tips you proffer, 
handle your luggage. On the left , the Immigration Office and on 
the right the Customs 




Nuevo Laredo, where the road begins: as you travel down 
this street the sharp contrast of the low Mexican buildings to 
the comparative skyscrapers of the American Laredo strikes the 
traveler immediately 



ROLLING DOWN TO MEXICO 



341 




Tourist camp, Mexican 
style: these splendid accom- 
modations are at Monterey, 
148 miles south of Nuevo 
Laredo 



Photo by W. H 



Weird silhouette: Yucca trees stand against Departure at daybreak: this view through 
the desert sky, along a fine paved road continu- the palms at "Apartementos Regina para Tour- 
ing south of Nuevo Laredo. Voices span the istas" greets daybreak risers starting early on 
desert in a twinkling through the wires seen the next lap of the trip 
over the tree 




342 



NATURAL HISTORY, NOVEMBER, 1 93 6 



A HALF HOUR FROM MONTEREY: the 

Ranch of the Beautiful View re- 
pays a side trip over this road to the 
mountains 




Photo bv W.Hcnschcl 



"The beautiful view" refers to the splendid Hotel at Victoria : the second night may be 
Horse-tail Falls which pours down the moun- spent in this hostelry. The cars are parked in 
tainside into a valley of tropical luxuriance. the patio around which the rooms are grouped 
This falls was characterized in one guide book 
as "over-rated" 




ROLLING DOWN TO MEXICO 



343 




Relic of Spain's conquest : as you leave Vic- 
toria, you will see this church which is claimed 
to be over 400 years old 



Refuel by funnel: stopping for gas 
at Valles, you will be surprised at the 
variety of odd-shaped funnels used to 
pour gas into your tank from a ten litre 
measure. Gas pumps are not trusted 



Crossing the tropic of cancer: thirteen miles 
south of Victoria, you pass into the tropical zone. 
Close to this point you rise to the top of the Mesa 
de Llera for a sweeping panorama 





NATURAL HISTORY, NOVEMBER, 1 93 6 



A DELAY: just beyond Valles travel- 
lers formerly had to take a "siesta" 
ivliile waiting for a ferry. The hot 
tropical sun can be mighty uncom- 
fortable without the shelter of palm 
leaves 





Powerless conveyance: 
this primiifje fsrry -J.as pro- 
pelled across the river by the 
action of the current against 
the sides of the raft. A steel 
bridge now spans the river 



Animal life abounds in 
the palm forests stretching to 
the horizon from each side of 
the road. The motorist gets 
some idea of the dense jungle 
through which the road was 
built 









. ■ ■ ■ ■ 




r-?*^^ *1ilfflw^w BBfr£*yjv tjjSmIII 



ROLLING DOWN TO MEXICO 



345 



"Thomas an' Charlie" (common 
name for Tamazunchale) will probably 
be your next night's stop. If you stay at 
the Hotel Vega you will have this view 
from your room. The small building is 
in the patio of the hotel and is the home 
of the owner, Senor Vega 




Graceful women of the Huaste- 
can Indians, as seen from the Cafe 
Royal in Tamazunchale. The na- 
tives had never seen an automobile 
before the building of this road 




Climbing mountainward: as 
you leave Tamazunchale at an al- 
titude of 500 feet, the road rises 
steadily, following the Rio Monte- 
zuma 



346 



NATURAL HISTORY, NOVEMBER, 1 93 6 



Above the tropics: fields, 
planted by Indians suspended 
by ropes from trees make a 
patch-work of yellow and 
green on the steep slopes. 
The road has now climbed 
to an altitude at which tem- 
perate zone plants will grow 



Cut through sheer rock : 
here the road is at an altitude 
of 75°° feet, where occa- 
sional landslides make main- 
tenance difficult 



Blankets of clouds are — 
formed on the cool heights 
by the warm moist air which 
rises from the tropical low- 
lands. Magnificent views 
charm the motorist at every 
turn in the highway 




ROLLING DOWN TO MEXICO 



347 




Jacala, end of the mountain 
road : when this little town appears, 
you will know that it is only l6j 
miles to Mexico City, over a fast, 
paved highway 



The highest point of the road 
(gooo feet) , although beyond Jacala, 
is passed over so easily that it is hardly 
noticed. The country again takes on 
the character of semi-aridity where 
cacti flourish. You are now in the 
Valley of Mexico 



For the first time in history the 
motorist can step out of his car in a 
foreign metropolis. Mexico City, once 
the Aztec capital, is a modern city, 
yet at every turn are reminders of its 
ancient past 









■-jjgaaiiitf ■■ JS1 



IE— -,_;j \. 



348 



NATURAL HISTORY, NOVEMBER, 1 93 6 



Bird Courtship 



'Do the male's fine feathers attract the mate he wishes 
to win? Observations which question the adequacy of Darwin's 
theory of sexual selection 



By H. N. Southern 

Perhaps no other aspect of Darwin's 
work has been criticized so much as his 
theory of sexual selection. Chiefly it 
points to the advantage of bright plumage in 
male birds in the mating contest, and offers 
an explanation why in so many species the 
male is brilliantly adorned while the female 
is dull. The individuals that are most brightly 
colored have the greatest success in securing 
mates, according to the theory of sexual selec- 
tion, with the result that the brilliant features 
are transmitted to the offspring in greater and 
greater degree. 

Fine feathers 

While this theory has been applied princi- 
pally to birds, some fishes and arthropods and 
even a few of the higher vertebrates have 
characters which point in the same direction. 
On the face of it the theory sounds quite rea- 
sonable and explains a number of things in the 
bird world which are mysterious upon any 
other hypothesis. The elaborate visual display 
of the peacock and equally the complicated 
antics of dull-plumaged birds like the Old 
World warblers seem to answer to no posi- 
tive purpose that would improve their chance 
of survival, unless to that of appealing to the 
discrimination of the hen bird. Far from being 
of value in the struggle for existence, the pea- 
cock's tail must be a positive burden to him, 
and if there were no counter-acting factor, 
birds with such a senseless over-development 
of one of their organs would be speedily 
weeded out. 

If it is accepted that the elaboration of 
color, form, and movement is critically ap- 



preciated by the females, and that thej choose 
those mates which by a greater riot of color 
or a greater abandon of posture can stimulate 
them to successful mating mure readily, then 
it will be clear that the hereditary factors for 
these characters will be handed on to the off- 
spring more frequently than others. 

While there is no doubt that sexual selec- 
tion can actually be discerned in operation in 
certain cases (the observations by Edmund 
Selous upon the courtship of the ruff are con- 
vincing enough for all but the most captious 
critics), there are a number of difficulties that 
arise. Many instances are recorded of cock 
birds with poor plumage getting mates while 
more brightly colored competitors are con- 
demned to bachelorhood. The hen in many 
cases seems to be quite oblivious of the display 
that is going on and seems pointedly to look 
the other way. This is curious if the stimula- 
tion is by a visual image. Again it would seem 
to be equally important for the future of the 
race that the hens should also undergo a form 
of selection since they contribute half of the 
hereditary factors of the next generation. 
Eliot Howard has shown that in the warblers 
at least the possession of a territory is a more 
important factor in securing a mate than an 
elaborate display. 

Chance observations 

As with most zoological controversies the 
correct answer seems to be a compromise, an 
acceptance of the fact that sexual selection has 
been seen to occur with the proviso that many 
other factors may be equally if not more im- 
portant. There is much still to be learned 
about courtship and display before we can 
dogmatize, and this material can only be col- 



BIRD COURTSHIP 



349 



lected by painstaking and co-operative observa- 
tion. If only there were a way of collating the 
various facts that are known, we should have 
progressed some way : so many people who are 
out hunting for something entirely different, 
drop across some incident of importance, 
though they do not know it, and the informa- 
tion remains locked in their heads or reported 
in parenthesis in some quite unsuspected jour- 
nal. If we could only organize it, there must 
be quite a large body of facts to draw upon. 
As a member of an ornithological expedition 
to the Shetland Islands in the summer of 1935, 
I was able quite accidentally to record several 
observations of interest upon bird courtship, 
though the purpose of the expedition had not 
been connected with this at all. It only shows 
how anybody may come across information in 
the most unexpected way, which should be 
made known. 

Birds on the Shetlands 

The Shetlands are a barren group of islands 
lying at the extreme north of the British Isles 
about 55 miles northeast of the Orkney 
Islands, and the capital town of Lerwick is 
situated almost exactly upon latitude 6o° N. 
The coast line is everywhere rocky and pre- 
cipitous and supports a tremendous population 
of sea birds. Two species of skua are fairly 
common there, the great skua, or bonxie, as 
the Shetlanders call it, and the smaller Arctic 
skua (better known in America as the para- 
sitic jaeger), which both live in a piratical 
manner by chasing the various sea birds and 
compelling them to divulge the cargoes of fish 
that they are carrying back to the nesting 
ledges. 

In making a survey of one small island on 
the east side of the mainland we noticed that 
the bonxies tended to collect upon one par- 
ticular ridge about half way up the moorland 
slope that formed the main part of the island 
(there are no trees in Shetland, and so the 
bird population is entirely ground or cliff nest- 
ing). Having a day or so to spare we decided 
to spend some time watching what was going 
on at this "club," and after a few hours we 
found that events were so interesting that we 
put up a "hide" and managed to take some 
photographs of the proceedings. It was one of 
the most pleasant places we had ever been in 
to make bird observations, and one's attention 
was continually being distracted, if one was 



not careful, to the splendor of the surrounding 
scenery. The island rose steeply in its short 
breadth of a mile and a half to 600 feet, so 
that even from this ridge most of the south- 
east part of Shetland stretched out before us 
penetrated by sinuous fingers of blue water. 
In fact so broken up is the coast line, that no 
part of the islands is more than three miles 
from the sea. 

Courtship of the bonxie 

The books informed us that the courtship 
of the bonxie consisted of mutual wing-raising 
by both sexes, displaying the white webs of 
the proximal part of the primaries and flash- 
ing them into view as a sort of surprise, as 
do so many birds with hidden patches of 
color in their plumage. What puzzled us was 
that this could be seen going on all over the 
nesting colony, and did not appear to have any 
special courtship significance. It was used for 
greeting, for remonstrance when one bird in- 
truded into the territory of another, and as 
a general expression of excitement or self- 
assertion. Observations on the ordinary nest- 
ing territory did not seem to give us much 
information as to the real courtship, for surely 
this was only a poor pretense at it. Apart from 
that, of course, the hillside was exciting enough 
on account of the bonxie's habit of stooping 
at intruders. It takes a certain amount of self- 
control not to duck automatically when these 
great brown birds with a wing spread of five 
feet or so come hurtling straight at one, but 
almost without exception they check upwards 
when they are about two or three feet away 
from the object of attack. They look so terri- 
fying with their big heavy bodies, and when 
seen soaring in the sky are curiously reminis- 
cent of eagles with their great wide sails of 
wings. 

But to return to the ridge: we found that 
after we had settled ourselves down in the 
heather at a point of vantage, birds would be- 
gin to return in ten minutes or so, all making 
for this one particular spot out of the whole 
island. One small patch of it was worn abso- 
lutely bare of herbage by the feet of countless 
generations of bonxies. Each new arrival 
would be greeted with upraised wings and a 
hoarse call by at least one of those already 
present and sometimes the emotion would com- 
municate itself to a number of them. 

Several of them were sitting in obvious 



350 



NATURAL HISTORY, NOVEMBER, 1 936 



pairs, and of these one especially was very ac- 
tive, the female brooding on an imaginary nest 
with great solicitude, while the male stood In 
her and raised his wings at the slightest provo- 
cation. Soon she stood up and the two birds 
stood breast to breast calling and wing-raising. 
This happened several times and fizzled out, 
but finally the male started to adopt entirely 
different tactics: he puffed out his neck 
feathers until they looked twice the normal 
thickness, and strutted with head in the air 
in front of the female. Up and down he went 
in a kind of sentry-go, until the hen who was 
standing up and calling reciprocally at first 
finally sat down and mating was accomplished. 
On several occasions we saw this procedure 
end with the refusal of the female to take 
part and the male was driven off. On every 
occasion that we watched, these activities were 
constant, though it should be remarked that 
a number of the birds present at the gathering 
(sometimes between twenty and thirty were 
seen out of a total breeding population for the 
island of 60 pairs) seemed to be males whose 
mates already had eggs on the nesting ground 
nearby. 

The interesting thing is to find that the 
courtship of the bonxie is not after all a 
mutual affair, as one would guess from a 
superficial knowledge of their activities (i.e. 
the wing-raising) and from their close rela- 
tionship with the gulls, but one in which the 
male has a definite display of his own. The 
question as to whether the birds who can strut 
the best are sexually selected is, one feels, 
rather doubtful, and the whole complex be- 
havior of the bonxie at this time of year needs 
more thorough investigation. The noticeable 
social atmosphere in a bird which is bold 
enough not to need the safeguard of flocking, 
is one of those elaborate conventional patterns 
of behaviors that one finds among birds that 
exhibit more than the usual care of the young, 
and may form a sort of bond of a psychological 
nature to keep the parents, as it were, "inter- 
ested in their job." 

Love-making of other birds 

The probable significance of the wing-rais- 
ing and calling with open beak as a primitive 
feature of the bonxie's courtship was made 
more probable to us by observing the love- 
making of several of the other sea birds that 
nest in Shetland. Certainly one of the most 



in" m ling of these is the fulmar petrel, twos 
and threes of which were always to be seen 
performing their antics on any raised surfaces 
which gave them opportunity to land. The 
accompanying photographs were taken at the 
peat stack just outside the house which served 
as our headquarters. Admittedly there is a 
great deal that is mysterious about the fulmar's 
behavior, but the main principle is obvious 
enough. Two birds sit close together, strain- 
ing their beaks forward and calling with a 
guttural "kuk-kuk-kuk-kuk-kurrrrrr," at the 
climax of which the head is twisted and waved 
about so that the mauve-colored interior is 
suddenly displayed. Here is a clear case where 
stimulation is completely mutual, and pre- 
sumably the birds that can produce the best 
reaction upon each other will be the most suc- 
cessful breeders. If we are true Darwinists, we 
shall make an extention and call this "inter- 
sexual selection," and argue that the bright 
colors of the inside of the mouth in many sea- 
birds have been produced in this way. 

Not the usual triangle 

Again, however, the case is not half so 
simple, and our interpretation of the fulmars' 
behavior was constantly being complicated by 
the arrival of a third bird who would join 
the party and perform just the same actions. 
If it was a case of simple one-sided selection, 
we might be tempted to think that two males 
were contesting for the female, but in cases 
even where one of the three birds was in- 
cubating, these three-cornered performances 
would be observed going on, and the whole 
thing seemed to take on more of a social sig- 
nificance. In addition there is the fact that this 
kind of business is seen quite late in the sum- 
mer, and we have a state of affairs closely re- 
sembling the "piping parties" of the oyster- 
catcher, which occur when breeding is fin- 
ished.* 

Thus it may be concluded that, though 
sexual selection may be valid to a certain ex- 
tent, it does not go deep enough into the 
problem of bird behavior by a long way, and 
it is quite impossible to explain complicated 
emotional situations by such a simplified and 
single explanation. 

'Attention is called to a series of photographs illustrating 
the "dance" of the Laysan albatross published with an 
article by Homer R. Dill in the April, 1913, issue of 
Natural History. 



BIRD COURTSHIP 



351 



Bird Courtship 




(Top) A stern and rock-bound tryst: fulmar petrels engaged in 
vocal courtship 

(Center) Promenade of a gallant: puffing out his neck feathers, 
the male bonxie struts importantly in front of the female, a 
phenomenon supporting the Darwin doctrine 



(Below) Greetings, my feathered friend! Wing-raising is a social 
salutation as well as a courting gesture, among the bonxies 





35 2 



NATURAL HISTORY, NOVEMBER, 1936 



THE INDOOR EXPLORER 



By D. R. Barton 



Vjricket on the microphone: Visitors 
walking among the insect exhibits on the third 
floor of the American Museum, will have their 
curiosity aroused by peculiar trilling sounds 
which apparently emerge from a darkened 
corner of the hall. 




If these visitors happen to have what the 
psychologist calls "good associative disposi- 
tions" they will probably be reminded of sum- 
mer evenings when they lolled comfortably in 
screened porches, lazily conscious of the inces- 
sant chirping crickets in the yard outside. That 
is exactly what they are listening to. 

They will follow the sound until they reach 
an illuminated glass case housing several 
chubby crickets. 

Now, these insects are not being given sanc- 
tuary from the winter frosts without a pur- 
pose. Inside their glass home is a microphone 
which is connected to a large amplifier or loud- 
speaker outside and above the "show case." 
This apparatus, which was devised by Mr. 
L. W. Holden, projectionist of the Museum's 
education department, makes the chirping of 
the crickets clearly audible to the visitor. 
Why? Not simply to stimulate pleasant sum- 
mery recollections to tide him over the bleak 
winter. The real purpose is to acquaint him 
with the cricket at close range, and to show 
him how the cricket actually makes his chirp. 

Fox Movietone News recently made a sound 
film of the cricket, thus presenting him for the 
first time on the screen. The Museum con- 
siders it a privilege to sponsor, what may be 
called his first "radio" broadcast, as well as 
his debut on the legitimate stage. 



How he chirps 

Only adult male crickets can chirp. The 
female of the species, easily recognized by the 
slim, needle-like "tail" with which she pierces 
the ground when laying her eggs, is one of the 
most reticent of her sex in all nature, and she 
rears her children in the best traditions: they 
are seen but never heard. 

The reason for all this is quite simple. Im- 
mature crickets cannot chirp because they have 
no wings, and adult females cannot chirp, be- 
cause, although they have them, their wings 
are not equipped with the male's chirp-making 
"musical file." Yes, the male cricket chirps 
with his wings. 

Near the front of each front wing of a male 
cricket, is an enlarged rib or brace. On the 
under side of this rib is a series of small teeth. 
Then on the upper side of each front wing is 
a small rough spot so placed that when the 
wings are rubbed together, the teeth on the 
underside of one wing scrape on the rough 
spot that is on the upper side of the other. 
This rubbing of a file-like structure on a rough 
spot starts both wings to vibrating very 
rapidly, probably at a rate of not far from 
5,000 shakes per second. This rapid vibration 
of the wings up and down as the male cricket 
rubs them against each other from side to side 
sets the air to vibrating in w r aves of such a 
character and frequency that our ears recog- 
nize a shrill sound or chirp. 




From a microscopic study of the delicate 
lines on a "sound-film" recording of cricket's 
chirps, the Museum's department of insects 
has found, among other things, that ( I ) The 
cricket chirps, so far as its fundamental notes 



THE INDOOR EXPLORER 



353 



are concerned, in the octave just beyond piano 
range. (2) Such a performance would, in 
musical terms, be called a beautifully executed 
"slur" such as would be possible for an expert 
violinist, except that the cricket does it in less 
than 0.03 second, and then in less than 0.02 
second repeats it almost exactly. 

Probably the first definite sounds made by 
land animals on this earth were made by in- 
sects. Before ever birds sang or even frogs 
croaked, insects had developed a chitinous cov- 
ering, the segments of which, rubbing to- 
gether, produced sound-waves. Whether these 
sound-waves were audible in the sense that 
there were organisms with nervous mechanisms 
attuned to them might be the subject of an 
interesting speculation. 




/\rtificial deformation of skulls: To- 
day, the prevalent and extensive use of cosmet- 
ics has come in for a good deal of criticism by 
our elders. Die-hard conservatives have wag- 
gled many a reproachful finger at the modern 
woman's "war-paint," although its defenders 
regard it as a phase of "the more abundant 
life." 

Whatever your stand on the issue, you will 
be interested to know that this modern in- 
stance of cosmesis, (the art of improving and 
preserving natural beauty), is mild in the ex- 
treme when compared with primitive prac- 
tices in general and the deformation of the 
head in particular. 

The custom of deforming the cranium is 
shared by many peoples distributed over a 
world-wide geographical area. It flourished in 
Peru, among the Indians of Southwestern 
United States, in several Pacific islands and 
in certain localities in Asia. It is usually a 
conscious attempt to emphasize an ethnic con- 
ception of beauty by directing and inhibiting 



the growth. The figure above shows the result 
of a distortion, carefully nurtured from in- 
fancy, on the head of a North American In- 
dian. It should be remembered that the heads 
of male children were treated in this fashion 
quite as much as those of the females. 

Dr. Harry L. Shapiro, Associate Curator of 
Physical Anthropology at the American 
Museum, observes that, "The crania which 
are classed as artifically deformed range from 
those so slightly affected as to escape notice to 
forms which are startlingly fantastic. The 
methods of deformation vary similarly from 
simple cradle board and bandages to elaborate 
machines which have all the diabolical appear- 
ance of medieval instruments of torture. The 
facial parts of the cranium are relatively less 
influenced by deformation than the cranial 
vault. Also it does not appear that deforma- 
tion has any generally noticed effect on intelli- 
gence or the capacity of the cranium." 

Dr. Shapiro has devoted much time to the 
problem presented to the anthropologist by de- 
formed skulls recovered in excavations. 

Due to the artificial formations the skulls 
are very difficult to classify, and lead to erro- 
neous conclusions. To surmount this stumbling 
block, Dr. Shapiro has developed a formula 
which enables the anthropologist to calculate 
the exact proportions that would normally 
have characterized the skull, if it had not been 
subjected to the beautifying treatment. 

There are several instances among Euro- 
peans where cosmetic customs have deformed 
the skull quite by accident. The celebrated 
paintings of the Dutch masters often portray 
the voluminous coifs and head dresses in vogue 
at their particular period. Investigations have 
disclosed frequent cases of cranial distortion 
clearly the result of the tightly bound fasten- 
ings of these contraptions which were worn 
from early childhood. We may conclude then, 
that the woman of today is not nearly as 
thorough a spartan as her ancestors or her 
primitive sisters in the matter of personal van- 
ity, and that the masculine element of our 
present civilization is even less amenable to 
the ancient ordeal of adornment. 



354 



NATURAL HISTORY, NOVEMBER, 1 93 6 



Your New Books 



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It was a busy camp every minute of the day and 
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JAMES L. CLARK. 



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The author is a distinguished anthropologist so his 
comments can be taken as authoritative. There is a 
brief discussion of the primitive artist in general in 



YOUR NEW BOOKS 



355 



which it is shown that primitive man is primarily 
a craftsman, interested in making useful objects; 
his art is merely the aesthetic treatment of such 
objects, the inspirations for which are drawn from 
his tribal culture. Finally, the relation between art 
as illustrated in the book and native village life in 
New Guinea is properly evaluated. In general, the 
volume might well serve as a high class guide to 
museum collections from the same area. 

CLARK WISSLER. 



Adventures in error 

--by Vilhjalmur Stefansson 

New York 
Robert M. McBride and Company 

THIS is a series of essays having to do with 
the old antithesis of truth and happiness. It is 
generally agreed that the person who insistently 
questions the accuracy of every popular belief is 
a social nuisance, so the author is to be commended 
for his optimism in issuing a volume to prove that 
most of what the reader has learned about the 
world is wrong and even silly. For one thing such 
behavior threatens one's sense of security. However, 
the reader should not take the book too seriously 
because most of the time he will be debating 
whether the author is a humorist or a reformer. 
The chances seem to favor the former. The chap- 
ter on the history of the bath tub is a case in point; 
everyone should get a laugh out of that. 

The author begins by stressing his disapproval 
of all the debunking efforts leveled at Santa Claus, 
Washington, Lincoln, etc., but later on he sharply 
rebukes the living great who have made mis-state- 
ments about the arctic; for example Sir James 
Jeans and Robert Millikan, two great scientists, 
are shown to have talked nonsense about icebergs 
and in consequence the author wonders how ac- 
curate these great men may be in their own chosen 
field. There is a long chapter to prove that all the 
romantic stories about wolves are untrue, that 
wolves never run in packs and never hurt human 
beings, except by accident. In this case the reader 
may not be sure whether he himself or the wolf is 
debunked. 

For the most part the errors discovered by the 
author have to do with the arctic. He makes the 
reader feel it a crime to mention a snowhouse be- 
cause a lot of Eskimos never saw one; to believe 
that it is terribly cold in their country because there 
are places in the world where it is sometimes 
colder; to say there are no trees in the arctic, etc. 
However, the author's main point seems to be that 
we live in an unreal world, a world we have built 
up out of errors and in which we find our greatest 
happiness. 

He thinks that those we regard as distinguished 
contribute most to the building up of this unreal 
world and is charitable enough to suggest that he, 
also, may have had a share in the construction. 



356 



He debunks arctic exploration, but believes there 
will be arctic explorers forever, because people 
like the romance of the unreal, especially when 
staged in the arctic of make-believe. 

CLARK WISSLER. 



Yankee in Africa 

I. H. and Julie B. Morse 

Published by The Stratford Company, Boston. 
Price, $1.50 

Illustrated with snapshots by the authors. 

■yANKEE IN AFRICA, is a breezy, jubilant 
J- book delightfully written, swinging along in 
easy style recounting in a direct and simple way 
the reactions, thrills, joys, and at times surprises 
and even bitter disappointments of a lady on her 
first and her husband on his second shooting safari 
to the uplands of the East African game fields. 

Mr. and Mrs. Morse, write rather along a per- 
sonal vein but quite honestly so, for it is frankly 
as they saw and felt the wonders as they unfolded 
to them. It is quite the honest reaction of anyone 
going there and is for this reason refreshing for in 
reading it one feels himself taking the very trip so 
buoyantly described. 

We follow the Morses over the rolling grassland 
plains, through patches of thorn bush, into the 
depths of jungles, seeing quite vividly the many 
strange animals and brilliantly colored birds of all 
sizes and hues. We encounter with them the pon- 
derous rhino, the lion, and sometimes a snake, but 
always with more wonderment than fear. Natives, 
too, held their fascination and they tell of them 
as they found them, simple, child-like people but 
picturesque and colorful in their beads and feathers 
and magnificent in their deep copper skins and fine 
physiques. 

Their trip was not without a purpose, for not 
only did they enjoy the Africa which they so ably 
describe but the specimens they collected were all 
saved to swell the already representative collec- 
tion for their private museum which stands at 
Warren, New Hampshire. 

They tell also how this museum, now known as 
the Morse Museum, was originally started by Mr. 
Morse as a private trophy room, but his collection 
became so large and so interesting that they most 
generously decided to open it to the public that 
others might enjoy with them these most unique and 
valuable souvenirs of their wanderings. 

Privately maintained and entirely supported by 
the Morses, the Museum carries on giving joy to 
many others who are just as interested but not as 
fortunate and who must be the stay-at-home 
travelers. The Morses show a fine spirit in that 
they travel and enjoy the world but not selfishly 
so, for they in turn are giving it out to others. 

We should have more of this kind of people 
and their kind of books. 

JAMES L. CLARK. 
NATURAL HISTORY, NOVEMBER, 1 936 



fROBOSCIDEA 

by Henry Fairfield Osbcnn 

- Edited by Mabel Rice Percy 

A Monograph of the Discovery, Evolution, 
Migration and Extinction of the Mastodonts 
and Elephants of the World. 

Volume I. Moeritherioidea; Deinotherioidea; 
Mastodontoidea. 

The American Museum Press, New York, 1936 

' I TI1S sumptuous volume, together with the second 
*- one yet to appear, constitutes the final magnum 
opus of the foremost paleontologist of his time. It 
represents the fruits of a line of research begun 
in 1907 and continued through 1935, when its il- 
lustrious author rested from his labors. The volume 
before us has been on the American Museum Press 
since 1924, during which time the field of research 
has been greatly broadened and many discoveries 
have been made which alter the classification of 
the Proboscidea; the consequent alterations appear 
in the phylogenetic appendix. 

At the time of the author's lamented death on 
November 6, 1935, the final revision of the manu- 
script was in progress. This has been carried out 
along the lines laid down by him; since that time 
no changes have been made in his determinations 
and necessary corrections have been inserted as 
footnotes. 

Perhaps the most outstanding feature of this 
volume, which was also manifest in the author's 
work on the Titanotheres, is the emphasis placed 
on the phylogenetic classification in which, instead 
of the classic Linnean system based solely on zoo- 
logic observation and the creational concept, a 
phylogenetic system is followed in which all divi- 
sions from the subspecies to the order are placed 
vertically, as succeeding each other during geologic 
time, rather than horizontally as observed in recent 
or existing time by Linnaeus and all zoologists. 
This results in an amazing number of divergent 
lines of ascent, there being no fewer than 43 newly 
discovered multiple lines for the Proboscidea as a 
whole. 

There were four primary stocks of Proboscidea 
established by the initial choice of food in dif- 
ferent habitats: 

(1) An amphibious stock, adapted to rivers and 
swamps, of limited powers of migration. Repre- 
sented only by the imperfectly known Moeritherium 
of northern Africa and possibly (Pilgrim) of 
southern Asia in Oligocene time. MOERITHERIOI- 
DEA. 

(2) A southern forest stock, adapted to forested 
lowlands. Represented by the Deinotherium of 
northern and central Africa and of southern Eur- 
asia; known from abundant remains in Miocene 
to Middle Pliocene time. DEINOTHERIOIDEA. 

(3) A northern stock, adapted to lowlands, to 
savannas, and to forests, with better developed 
limbs and powers of wide migration. Represented 
from the Lower Oligocene of northern Africa to 



the Miocene-Upper Pleistocene of Eurasia and 
North and South America. MASTODONTOIDEA. 
(4) A Stegodont-elephanl Mock, adapted to 
plains, savannas ami steppes; .,1 browsing (fo 
or giazing (plains) habits, also with powers of 
wide migration. Represented from the Lower 
Pliocene of southern Asia to the Pleistocene of 
North America and the Pleistocene and Recent of 
southern Asia and of Africa. ELEPHANTOIDEA. 
This last group constitutes the man-rial for the 
second volume. 

The position of the Moeritherioidea has been a 
matter of debate. Now, Moeritherium is excluded 
entirely from the ancestry of all later Proboscidea 
although a member of the order. It was an animal 
of amphibious habits comparable to the Hippo- 
potami. 

The Dinotherioidea are also an aberrant side 
line but had a decidedly elephantine body often of 
huge size and with a fully developed trunk, but no 
upper tusks. The sharply deflected lower jaw bore 
a pair of pointed decurved tusks, while the grind- 
ing teeth were very simple and unprogressive in 
structure. The use of these lower tusks gave rise 
to some remarkable and grotesque theories. 

The greater portion of the volume treats of the 
Mastodontoidea. Originally, all that were known 
of this group were included under the classic genus 
Mastodon which because of subsequent discovery 
has been separated into 4 families, 15 sub-families, 
and 31 genera representing some 30 phyletic lines 
of ascent. The classification is by means of pro- 
gressive divergent adaptations in the grinding teeth 
and tusks. The family classification is based on 
the fundamental pattern of the grinding teeth; the 
sub-family classification on the elongation or ab- 
breviation of the mandible and the divergent adap- 
tations of the inferior tusks. 

The true mastodons to which alone the classic 
generic name is now applied include the Mastodon 
americanus so abundant in the forested area of 
the eastern United States. It was a short-jawed 
form with vestigial lower tusks. 

The long-jawed mastodonts are in many ways 
the most interesting of all and include several 
phyletic lines. Some had an extremely long mandib- 
ular symphysis and lower tusks which might be 
greatly elongated and narrowed, but never broad- 
ened. These are called the prod-tuskers. The shovel- 
lers, on the other hand, usually had broadened 
lower tusks, sometimes excessively broad, with a 
worn, chisel-shaped edge giving evidence of their 
use, and with reduced upper tusks. Of these, under 
the Bunomastodontidae, are the shovel-tusked 
Amebelodonts, the tuskless spoonbills, Megabelo- 
donts, and of the family Serridentidae the extreme 
Platybelodonts. These animals are supposed to have 
lived on the roots and stems of certain aquatic 
plants such as the water lilies, as do the moose 
and muskrat of today. 

Under each generic phylum there is a full his- 
torical discussion with original descriptions and 
abundant illustration together with some presenta- 
tion of Osborn's convictions, but with no real re- 
vision of species. 

The restorations are particularly interesting, all 



YOUR NEW BOOKS 



357 



of which were drawn by Miss Margret Flinsch, 
under the author's direction. 

Altogether, this is a rarely impressive volume 
and represents a vast amount of research such as 
would be possible only to one in Professor Osborn's 
position. The final conclusions as set forth in the 
Appendix seem logical in the light of the carefully 
presented evidence, but whether other workers in 
this field will accept so extreme a phylogenetic 
classification as that herein presented remains to 
be seen. 

RICHARD S. LULL. 

F ERNS OF NORTHEASTERN 
UNITED STATES 

.....------by Farida A. Wiley 

(Of the American Museum of Natural History) 

(Published by the author. Price $1.00, plus fifteen 
cents postage) 

IN this busy world, with all its strife and trouble, 
people are taking more and more to the out-of- 
doors for rest and recreation, to get away from 
the work and worry of their professions and occu- 
pations and to bring into life new experiences and 
new things to think about. Some take up outdoor 
games, while others go to nature for a study of 
trees, wild flowers, birds or the stars. Ferns form 
an interesting line of study. There are not so many 
species as to greatly confuse the learner, yet enough 
to occupy his attention for a long time. Some 
species are very common and are found on almost 
every walk in the woods, while others are scarce 
enough to lead one far afield. A few are so rare 
that to find one is the thrill of a lifetime. 

The author, Farida A. Wiley, has been a student 
of ferns all her life. She has traveled hundreds of 
miles to observe certain species in their native 
habitats and to secure specimens for study and 
illustration. She is Director of Field Courses in 
Natural History given by the American Museum, 
and also Director of Nature Study Courses for 
Teachers given by the same institution. This fern 
book is not only dependable and reliable, but it 
is attractive. 

Every fern is illustrated. The lower pinnae of 
all the larger species are shown, life size, on the 
left hand page. This is a new departure in fern 
books. The species can usually be determined by 
the shape and size of the lower pinnae. The entire 
frond is shown on the right hand page, reduced of 
course to scale (sometimes smaller than one would 
desire) showing the comparative size and shape 
of an average specimen. 

The fronds of small species are shown life size. 
The illustrations of all but four rare species were 
made from specimens collected by the author. Sixty- 
four species, all told, are recognized. Line draw- 
ings show the shape and placement of the spore 
cases of each species and cross sections of the 
stems, which show pattern arrangement of the 
vascular bundles. 

The author, in her description of each species, 



points out its chief characteristics, tells where and 
how it grows, how to distinguish it from other 
similar species with which it may be confused. 
The volume contains a key based on sterile fronds 
and a complete index of common ferns and scien- 
tific names. 

This handy manual, popular, yet scientific, should 
be the companion of the fern lover on his tramps 
afield. 

OLIVER P. MEDSGER. 



The Cover This Month 

The prehistoric cave design from which 
the cover was taken became known to science 
in September, igoi. The background in silver 
is from a photograph of the actual rock in 
which the figures are carved; while the out- 
lines in blue and red are a faithful reproduc- 
tion of the design itself. The palaeolithic 
cavern in which it was found (Les Com- 
barelles) is in the archaeologically famous 
Dordogne region in southwestern France. 
Exactly how many thousands of years ago 
the primitive artist incised this design in the 
stone cannot be said, but there is no doubt 
that it represents a very early period in the 
history of human art. A number of animals 
now extinct are depicted in the same cave. 
The people to whom the design is ascribed 
hunted the wild horse extensively, but there 
is no definite evidence that they domesticated 
it. 

The horizontal lines crossing the flank of 
the larger horse have been taken by some to 
represent a serpent, but it is more likely that 
a thrust spear is intended. From the pointed 
end of it a deep groove ending in a hook 
extends downward, and this may represent 
blood flowing from the wound. 



"Relief" in the Sub-Arctic 

(Continued from page 2Ql) 
and pauperized recipient of Government rations 
with every interest in life destroyed. 

Within a quarter of a century the caribou herds 
have been reduced from approximately thirty mil- 
lion to three million. The musk oxen have been 
almost exterminated. And for years the same thing 
has been happening to the Little Brothers of the 
Wilderness — the fur-bearing animals that are the 
economic life-blood of an area of a million and a 
quarter square miles. Soon the Far North is liable 
to be deprived of that animal life that makes ex- 
istence possible and the natives to become burdens 
on the palefaces who deprived them of their land 
and the means to make a living. Surely our eco- 
nomic machinery must be out of gear when we can 
calmly contemplate these conditions, even in the 
very shadow of the pole, and see the results of 
selfishness and the fruits of thoughtless exploitation. 



358 



NATURAL HISTORY, NOVEMBER, 1936 



Science in the Field 
and in the Laboratory 

Alberta — British Columbia Expedition — Anthropology 
News — Christmas Lectures — Newsom-Watson Expedition 



The 1936 Alberta-British 
Columbia Expedition 

Our knowledge of the mammal life in the vast 
territories of the Northwest is limited owing to 
the inaccessible nature of this country. While it will 
be some time before the Museum can expect to 
get a representative series of the mammalian life 
in Western Canada, it is extremely gratifying to 
be able to report the acquisition of 500 specimens 
from Southern Alberta and British Columbia. 

The 1936 Alberta-British Columbia expedition 
returned in September after two months in the 
field. The members of the expedition were Mr. 
Colles Stowell and Mr. Wilbur Sawyer, who not 
only generously contributed financial aid but were 
of valuable assistance in the capture and preserva- 
tion of the specimens, and T. Donald Carter, As- 
sistant Curator, Department of Mammals, Museum 
representative and official collector. 

Despite restrictions due to great forest fires, the 
expedition was able to carry through its plans to 
ultimate success. The main camps were established 
at Maycroft, Alberta, at an elevation of 4,700 feet, 
and at Tornado Pass, 7,000 feet elevation, this 
camp being on the great divide which forms a 
boundary between the provinces of Alberta and 
British Columbia. Later collecting was carried on 
near Twin Butte, Alberta, at an elevation of 4,000 
feet, on the boundary of Waterton Lakes Park. 

Among the interesting collection of small mam- 
mals, including water shrews, coneys, lemming 
mice and other species, was a series of Richard- 
son's meadow mouse (Microtis richardsoni), new 
to the Museum collection. This is a Northern race 
of the largest of the American meadow mice, one 
of the series measuring over ten inches from tip 
to tip. 

Department of Fishes 

At the annual meeting of the American Society 

of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, held in Ann 

Arbor, August 31 to September 2, Dr. William K. 



Gregory was elected President for the coming year. 

Dr. Rodolpho von Ihering, head of the Commis- 
sao Technica de Piscicultura of northeastern 
Brazil, has returned to Fortaleza. Dr. von Ihering 
attended the meetings of the American Society of 
Ichthyologists and Herpetologists at Ann Arbor, 
and the American Fisheries Society at Grand 
Rapids, after which he spent a month in New York 
using the facilities of the New York Aquarium, the 
Museum library, and the Department of Ichthyology 
in connection with his researches on the embry- 
ology of certain families of South American fishes. 

Mr. G. M. Phelps, Jr., has presented the De- 
partment of Ichthyology with an interesting docu- 
ment in the form of the broken sword of a broad- 
bill swordfish projecting some 18 inches diagonally 
through a three-quarter-inch plank from the bottom 
of a small boat. According to Mr. Phelps, who was 
in the boat off Montauk, the swordfish had been 
harpooned and brought to within about 15 feet, 
when it drove its sword through the boat's bottom 
and then broke it off in struggling to free itself. 

Anthropology News 

One of the most important and extensive projects 
of the Department of Anthropology in the past 
twenty-five years has been a comprehensive study 
of the life and culture of the Plains Indians living 
in the United States and Canada. As a part of 
this study, Doctor David Mandelbaum was engaged 
to carry on two field studies among the Cree In- 
dians of Canada under the direction of Doctor 
Clark Wissler. During these field trips Doctor 
Mandelbaum accumulated important information 
on the former culture and history of the Cree as 
well as data which will make possible a classifica- 
tion of the numerous bands of this tribe. Doctor 
Mandelbaum is now at the Museum completing 
for publication a final report on this work. Under 
a fellowship from the National Research Council 
he expects to leave in December for India, where 
he will make ethnological studies among the Toda. 



SCIENCE IN THE FIELD AND IN THE LABORATORY 



359 



Jointly with the University of Alaska, the De- 
partment of Anthropology has undertaken an 
archaeological project in Alaska. Its main objec- 
tive has been to determine the further occurrence 
of artifacts of a type similar to those found in 
Mongolia by the Museum's Mongolian expeditions 
and recently discovered in the vicinity of Fair- 
banks, Alaska. To this end, Doctor Froelich Rainey, 
of the Faculty of the University of Alaska, and well 
known for his archaeological work in Porto Rico, 
made a reconnaissance last summer along the lower 
Ranana and Upper Yukon rivers. He reports a 
successful exploration trip which has resulted in 
the location of many dwellings, sites and refuse 
heaps, the trial excavation of which is very 
promising. 

As guests of the Department of Anthropology, two 
important conference groups met in the Museum. 
One was concerned with Anthropological exploration 
in South America; the other was called by the Na- 
tional Research Council, Washington, D. C. to de- 
velop a plan for the extension of psychiatric re- 
search to Indians and other representatives of the 
less literate peoples of the earth. The object in this 
case is to learn something about the personalities 
of individuals living under conditions we speak of 
as less civilized. It remains to be seen whether 
what we call personality is the result of the life 
one lives or comes about through some inborn 
characteristic. Among the members of this confer- 
ence were Adolph Meyer, Johns Hopkins Univer- 
sity; Edward Sapir, Yale University; Madison 
Bentley, Cornell University; H. S. Langfeld, Prince- 
ton University. 

Chinese Amphibia 

Dr. Alice Boring, Professor of Biology at Yen- 
ching University, is on sabbatical leave from that 
institution and has taken up residence in the De- 
partment of Herpetology. She is making a study 
of the amphibian of China utilizing the large col- 
lections brought back from the Central Asiatic 
Expeditions. Dr. Boring is well known for her 
numerous publications on the Amphibia of China. 
It is planned that the present study will be a com- 
plete account of the known forms. 

An Apology 

In connection with the article "The Eclipse in 
Kazakhstan" by Dr. Clyde Fisher in the October 
number of Natural History, the author wishes to 
call attention to an oversight. In discussing Prof. 
P. A. Manteufel's investigations of the behavior 
of animals during an eclipse of the sun, he regrets 
that he quite inadvertently forgot to mention the 
work of several well-known American naturalists. 
The results of the latter were published in the 
Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and 
Sciences, Vol. 70, No. 2 — March, 1935. The paper 
is entitled "Observations on the Behavior of Ani- 
mals During the Total Solar Eclipse of August 31, 
1932," and was written by William Morton 
Wheeler, Clinton V. MacCoy, Ludlow Griscom, 
Glover M. Allen, and Harold J. Coolidge, Jr. It is 
hoped that the oversight will be excused, the au- 



thor states, as it was wholly unintentional and 
quite inexplicable. 

Doctor Camp's Trip 

Friends of the Museum may be interested to 
hear that Dr. C. L. Camp, formerly of the Depart- 
ments of Comparative Anatomy and Ichthyology, 
has recently returned from a profitable trip to 
Europe and Africa. He succeeded in obtaining a 
number of interesting examples of mammal-like 
fossil reptiles from both continents, and made a 
study of museums in London, Berlin, Paris and 
elsewhere. He is now director of the Museum of 
Palaeontology of the University of California. 

Fellowship for Doctor Murphy 
Dr. Robert Cushman Murphy, of the Department 
of Ornithology of the American Museum, was 
elected to corresponding fellowship in the German 
Ornithological Society at its fifty-fourth congress, 
held at Bonn last July. 

Peruvian Archaeological Collection 

The Museum expedition to Peru (December, 1935 
to August, 1936) conducted by Dr. Wendell C. 
Bennett, Assistant Curator of Anthropology, has fur- 
nished the Natural History Museum with a large 
collection representing several localities and civi- 
lizations on the north coast of Peru. The collections 
come principally from the valleys of Viru and 
Lambayeque. 

The collection consists largely of pottery, both 
plain and decorated, but also contains specimens 
of copper, bronze, stone, bone, shell, wood, gourd, 
and fragments of textiles. Elaborate mortuary pot- 
tery and utilitarian cooking and drinking vessels 
which were found side by side in the same grave 
indicate that the prehistoric Peruvians not only 
placed articles of artistic merit and value with 
their dead, but also followed the more realistic 
custom of providing food and drink for the journey 
to the land of the dead. 

One group of vessels and artifacts represent the 
Early Chimu or Muchic civilization, considered the 
oldest on the north Peruvian coast. This civiliza- 
tion is generally considered to have existed during 
the first five centuries after Christ. Although the 
earliest civilization yet discovered in this region, 
it is by no means primitive in any sense of the 
word. The clay vessels representing modeled por- 
trait heads, the figure and animal modeling, and 
the faithful reproduction in clay of everything 
from houses to food plants are the finest examples 
of clay modeling to be found in the Peruvian civi- 
lizations. Furthermore painted scenes on vessels 
are not only admirable as artistic achievements, 
but are valuable in portraying excellent pictures 
of the life and customs of the times. 

A second group of vessels and artifacts represents 
a civilization or period which follows the Early 
Chimu. Many characteristics of the previous civi- 
lization still persist, but mixed with them is a 
definite influence from the region of Recuay in the 
highlands of Peru. This combination of Highland 
and Coast civilizations to form a new type, neither 



360 



NATURAL HISTORY, NOVEMBER, 1 93 6 



one nor the other bul influenced by both, is of 
archaeological importance because- the geographic 
features of Peru intensify regional differences, 
especially between the coasl and the mountains, 
and make inter-regional chronologies difficult to 
establish. 

Other vessels represent an influence from the 
south typified by designs painted in black, white, 
and red colors. Finally a large percentage of the 
collection is of black pottery so characteristic oi 
the Late Chimu period which preceded the Inca 
civilization on the coast of Peru. Graves of the 
last two periods (the Red-White-Black and the 
Late Chimu) were found in an abandoned habi- 
tation site of the Early Chimu period, thus furnish- 
ing further proof that the Early Chimu is truly 
Early. 

The collection from Lambayeque valley is the 
only documented material known from the Far 
North Coast region of Peru. Consequently it will 
be of importance in classifying other collections 
from that region which have been made by un- 
trained treasure-seekers who pay little attention to 
records of their work. 

This collection is now being catalogued prior to 
more thorough study and more detailed conclusions. 

Doctor Pinkley's Brain Research 

Dr. George Pinkley, of the Department of Com- 
parative Anatomy, and Mrs. Pinkley have re- 
turned to New York after four years abroad. They 
remained in London for more than two years, 
where Dr. Pinkley made research studies in com- 
parative anatomy, vertebrate palaeontology, and 
anthropology with especial reference to the evolu- 
tion and phylogenetic history of the human brain. 
These studies, which were partly in the interest 
of the James Arthur Foundation for the Study of 
the Evolution of the Human Brain, were made in 
the laboratories of Professor Sir Grafton Elliot 
Smith and Professor D. M. S. Watson of the Uni- 
versity of London, and at the British Museum 
(Natural History). After leaving London, Dr. 
and Mrs. Pinkley were in Egypt for a short time, 
visiting the fossil deposits of the Fayum desert 
basin, where remains of the oldest known anthro- 
poids have been found. 

In China, Dr. Pinkley, assisted by Mrs. Pinkley, 
continued his studies on the brain at the University 
of Hong Kong and at the Peking Union Medical 
College. They were also guests of the National 
Geological Survey of China at the Cenozoic Re- 
search Laboratory and at the excavations at Chou- 
koutien, where specimens representing at least 
twenty-four individuals of the famous fossil Pe- 
king Man have been found. On a trip to Borneo 
and the Philippine Islands, the Chinese Geological 
Survey cooperated in sending Mr. Bien Mei-nien 
of the staff of the Cenozoic Laboratory with Dr. 
and Mrs. Pinkley. Here they collected specimens 
of smaller primate and insectivorous mammals, es- 
pecially for Dr. Pinkley's researches on the brain; 
and in addition, made a reconnaissance explora- 
tion of cave deposits which might yield further 
evidence of fossil man in the Far East. — W. K. G. 



Jonker Diamond 

We have been informed that, contra rj to the im- 
pression given in the Octobei issue of Natural 
History, the Jonker Diamond was displayed not 

only at the American Museum but also at the 
store "I the Grogan Company in Pittsburgh. 

Junior Astronomy News — 
Christmas Lt i tin < i 

The annual Christmas science program of I be 
American Institute Student Science Clubs will be 
held as usual at the American Museum on De- 
cember 28 and 29. Participation in this program is 
open i<> all of the Institute's member science clubs 
in New York City and suburbs. 

The Christmas Lectures will be held at noon on 
each of these days, with two world famous scien- 
tists or explorers speaking on each program. This 
year Dr. Harlow Shapley of the Harvard College 
Observatory will speak. And either Dr. Hugo 
Eckener or Captain Lehman of the new German 
dirigible "Hindenburg" will also appear. The 
other two speakers will be announced at a later 
date. These lectures will be broadcast over a na- 
tional hook-up so that all science clubs and all 
young people interested in science over the country 
may have the opportunity of hearing them. 

The Christmas Lectures are modeled somewhat 
on the Christmas series held by the Royal Institu- 
tion of London for over a century. The British 
series have been conducted by such brilliant scien- 
tists as Faraday, Tyndall, Bragg and others. It is 
the plan of The American Institute to provide 
an opportunity for the young people of America 
also to hear the world's great scientists. In the past 
two years such men have appeared on the Institute 
program as: Dr. Harold C. Urey, Nobel Prize 
Winner in Chemistry; Dr. W. F. G. Swann, Direc- 
tor of the Bartol Research Foundation of Swarth- 
more; Captain A. W. Stevens, Commander of the 
1934 Stratosphere Flight — the highest ever made, 
and others. 

The Science Congress for clubs will also be held 
on these two days. The Congress plan is based 
on meetings of the American Association for the 
Advancement of Science, with section meetings on 
a variety of science subjects held simultaneously. 
At these meetings members of the clubs read 
papers or give demonstration talks of their re- 
searches in the clubs during the school year. A 
junior club member acts as the chairman of each 
meeting and leads the discussion which is invited 
after each paper is read. Prominent scientists are 
asked to attend the meetings as an honor to the 
speakers, but they take no part in the program 
which is conducted entirely by the boys and girls 
themselves. 

In the past papers of great merit have been pre- 
sented. And meetings on many specialized subjects 
have been arranged, including such general topics 
as: Genetics, Microscopy, Cinephotomicrography, 
Photomicrography, Electrified Gases, Light Waves, 
Vacuum Tubes, Aerodynamics, Airplane Construc- 
tion, Chemistry of Visible Particles, Applied 
Chemistry, Combustion, Biology, Biological Prep- 
arations, etc. 



SCIENCE IN THE FIELD AND IN THE LABORATORY 



361 



N ' ewsom-W at son 
Anticosti Expedition 

The Newsom-Watson Anticosti Island Expedi- 
tion of the American Museum of Natural History 
has just returned to New York after studying 
various forms of animal life on Anticosti Island, 
which, from a natural history standpoint, has been 
more or less a question mark until the present 
time. 

Anticosti Island is 135 miles long and 40 miles 
wide, and lies in the entrance to the Gulf of St. 
Lawrence, Province of Quebec, Canada. This 
3000 square miles is one and a half times as large 
as Prince Edward Island, yet no detailed complete 
topographical survey has ever been made of the 
island, except along the coast and by timber 
cruisers inland. 

In a preliminary report submitted to Dr. Roy 
Chapman Andrews, Director of the American 
Museum, Mr. William M. Newsom, leader of the 
Expedition who was accompanied by Mr. Earl S. 
Watson, said: 

"The Newsom-Watson Anticosti Island Expedi- 
tion of the American Museum of Natural History 
arrived at Anticosti Island on September 15th, 
after being held up for three days at Riviere aux 
Renards in the Gaspe Peninsual on account of 
gales. 

"At Port Menier three deer were taken; the 
skulls and skins prepared for the Museum. Also, 
one complete deer skeleton was taken and is being 
shipped to the Museum. 

"At Port Menier a good deal of time was spent 
taking the speed of the deer with a stop watch. 
This work was done on the open fields near Baie 
St. Claire. When a deer was found in a favorable 
position, a shot was fired under it. The bullet 
tossed gravel on the deer and marked the spot 
where the deer started. As the deer reached the 
edge of the field, or passed a mark such as a stone 
or tree that could be identified later, his time was 
taken and the distance measured with a tape. 
Figures will be available later, but we can say 
now, the deer is not going nearly as fast as he ap- 
pears to be and many a hunter will find his alibis 
for missing a deer are not as sound as they were 
heretofore. This is the first time the whitetail deer 
has been clocked with a stop watch. 

"Experiments were also made at Port Menier 
with camouflaged clothing as compared to ordinary 
hunting dress, to ascertain how well the deer 
can see the hunter and what effect the hunter's 
dress has on his success. It was not difficult to 
find deer on which to experiment, as we counted 
as high as 72 deer in one day. 

"On leaving Port Menier, we went along the 
North shore of the island in a 32-foot boat mak- 
ing various stops along the way. There are many 
seal along the shore and four of these of various 
sizes up to 7 feet long were taken and the skins 
and skulls sent to the Museum. 

"At Vaureal River, about 100 miles run from 
Port Menier, we secured a fine black bear, the 
skin and skull of which is being shipped to the 
Museum along with several other skulls collected 
at points where bear has been shot in the past. 

362 



It is, of course, too early to say whether or not this 
is a new sub-species of black bear. But we find the 
often published story that the island has a new 
variety of very large brown bear is a myth. 

"Up Vaureal River, we went inland to the falls 
— 170 feet high — and made camp there, making 
excursions to the plains above the falls. 

"Regarding small mammals, there are fox — red, 
cross, and silver — beaver and other mammals — 
all protected by the Company that owns the island, 
and we were requested not to take these as the 
Company is trying to build up revenue from the 
proceeds of trapping these. There used to be quan- 
tities of marten, but it is said that none are left, 
although there are rumors of a marten's tracks 
having been observed in the past year. 

"There are no mink, weasel or fisher and neither 
chipmunk, squirrel, skunks or porcupine have ever 
been found in the island. There are hares, but we 
saw none. We collected whitefooted mice. At Port 
Menier there are house mice and the common Nor- 
way rat, no doubt brought in by the boats. There 
are frogs, but no snakes on the island. 

"As far as we could learn, there are no shrews. 
We took none in the traps and several trappers 
working for the Company who are familiar with 
them in other countries, told us there are no shrews 
in Anticosti. We showed colored pictures of the 
shrew to several local trappers who were born 
and have always lived on the island, and they told 
us they had never seen one. This seemed so amaz- 
ing to us, we made careful inquiry everywhere we 
went, but the results were the same in every case 
— no shrews. There may, of course, be some inland 
where we did not go. 

"We found some ruffed grouse, but they are not 
very plentiful. We were told that during the hard 
winter of 1934 ptarmigan came to the island, but 
left in the spring and have not been seen since 
that time. Moose are not plentiful — a few only 
having been seen by the trappers this year. We 
saw only one track. There are three elk (cows) 
on the island and they are very tame. The Com- 
pany was forced to shoot the only bull elk as he 
became a menace. The Canadian government and 
the Company have released a herd of reindeer, 
but they are not increasing rapidly." 

Education Notes 
The Scholastic Exhibit of drawings, designs, 
pottery, jewelry will open in Education Hall on 
November 12th and continue to December 15th. 
This exhibit has been arranged by Mr. Forest 
Grant, Director of Art for the Board of Education. 



Mr. John R. Saunders and Mr. Robert R. Coles 
are continuing their educational radio programs 
on "Today's Natural History." The talks are 
given over WNYC on Wednesdays at 4 p. m. and 
over WHN on Fridays at 12 noon, and will include 
current news items in the world of natural science. 
Follow-up tours of Museum halls mentioned in the 
broadcasts will be made on Saturday afternoons 
following the talks, at 3 o'clock. 

NATURAL HISTORY, NOVEMBER, 1936 



Looking into Mexico 



If the article in this issue of Natural His- 
tory on the evolution of Mexican art by Dr. 
George C. Vaillant and the series of photo- 
graphs of the new motor highway to Mexico 
City by Charles H. Coles tip the balance for 
some readers in favor of a trip to that country, 
it may be interesting to note some of the many 
historic and scenic attractions that await the 
visitor there. 

Although it is impossible to enumerate in the 
space of this article the many places of interest 
in Mexico, the following trips, suggested by 
Doctor Vaillant, Associate Curator of Mex- 
ican Archaeology, may help you to decide what 
to see first. For the greatest enjoyment it is 
recommended that the first day or two after 
arrival in Mexico City be quietly spent becom- 
ing acclimated, as the city lies at an altitude 
of over 7000 feet. 



Trips That Can Be Made n 
from Mexico City 



a Day 



1 — Using Mexico City as a base and requir- 
ing only one day, an interesting trip may be 
made to the buried city of San Juan Teoti- 
huacan with its remarkable pyramids and par- 
tially excavated evidence of a highly developed 
civilization that flourished a thousand years 
before the arrival of Columbus in America. 
The pleasantest way to see San Juan Teo- 
tihuacan is to leave Mexico City about eight 
in the morning and drive directly to the pyra- 
mids, arriving at about nine o'clock, before the 
sun is too hot. On the return trip you may 
stop at Acolman and the Villa de Guadalupe, 
have a picnic lunch at El Bosque del Con- 
tadero, the site of the former palace of 
Nezahualcoyotl ; thence home by way of Tex- 
coco and Chapingo (affording an opportunity 
to see the painting by Rivera that is considered 
his finest work) and the famous walls of 
Huexotla. 

2 — One day's sightseeing should include a 
visit to the National Museum, the Ministry 
of Fine Arts, the National Theater which con- 
tains a copy of the controversial painting by 
Rivera that once decorated Rockefeller Center 
in New York, and the Convent of Churubusco, 
followed by lunch at the San Angel Inn. After 
lunch you may visit the Convent of San Angel 



and Copilco, which is the nearest point to the 
volcano that once buried this part of the coun- 
tryside in molten lava and where ma\ be seen 
the skeletons of human beings interred long 
before. Here one may also see, caught in the 
lava flow hundreds of years ago, the pyramid 
(it Cuicuilco. 

3 — A long morning's trip is the visit to the 

fa us Tacuba Noche Triste Tree, under 

which Cortez is supposed to have wept over 
his defeat ; the Convent of Tepoztlan, re- 
nowned for its very rich churrigueresco, and 
return by way of Tenayuca, Aztec pyramid, of 
which there is a very fine model in the Amer- 
ican Museum of Natural History. 

4 — It requires only one day, with a leisurely 
start, to visit the market at Toluca and the 
ruins of Calixtlahuaca and on the way back, 
turn off to see the Convent of El Desierto de 
Los Leones, and return via San Angel. 

• Trips Requiring Two or More Days 

1 — A very interesting trip, requiring from 
three to four days, is to take the train to 
Morelia, capital of Michoacan. From Morelia 
you can go to Lake Patzcuaro, surrounding 
which are the primitive villages of the Tara- 
scan Indians. You can boat on the lake and 
visit the Island of Janitzio and the ruins of 
Tzintzuntzan, once the capital of the great 
Tarascan empire. This trip could include a 
visit to the famous gardens of LJruapan, two 
and a half hours away by train. 

2 — At least four days should be devoted to 
the trip to Pueblo and Oaxaca. Puebla may 
be reached in two and a half to three hours 
from Mexico City. The beautiful altar in the 
Convent of Huexotzingo should be visited en 
route, also the famous pyramid of Cholula may 
be seen on the way to Puebla. Puebla is in- 
teresting for its many churches, its cathedral 
and its potteries; Cholula, for its pyramid and 
the Church of San Francisco Acatepec — re- 
nowned for its beautiful tiles. 

From Puebla one may take the train to 
Oaxaca. As this requires a very early morning 
start, some people prefer motoring to Tehua- 
can for the night and boarding the train for 
Oaxaca next morning at a reasonable hour. 
Oaxaca, which is an interesting old southern 



LOOKING INTO MEXICO 



363 



city and Indian market, is the starting point for 
trips to the ruins of Mitla. These are prehis- 
toric and of wonderful design, with monoliths, 
intricate mosaics, mural decorations and many 
hieroglyphics. They were old when the Span- 
iards first saw them 400 years ago. From 
Oaxaca a visit may be made to Monte Alban 
and the Church of Santo Domingo. Return by 
Pullman to Mexico City. 

3 — Two or three days should be allowed 
for the trip to Cuernavaca. If you go by motor 
you can leave in the morning, taking the long 
route via Cuauhtla and en route, see Chalco 
Lake, with its Aztec communities and lake 
life; the famous open chapel of Tlalmanalco 
Convent; Ameca-meca with its views of vol- 
canos, and Yautepec, the home of Zapata. 
Cuernavaca, by the short road, is only forty- 
four miles from the capital and the scenery, 
whether one goes by car or train, is some of 
the finest in Mexico. 

The points of particular interest in Cuer- 
navaca are the palace which was built by Cor- 
tez in 1530, and the Cathedral. From Cuer- 
navaca you may make a day's excursion to the 
Cacahuamilpa Caverns and, on the way, stop 
at the Xochicalco ruins, so old that all knowl- 
edge of its builders had been lost before the 
advent of Cortez. The return to Mexico City 
may be made by the short route mentioned 
above. 

4 — Yucatan. As there is no railroad to 
Yucatan, the trip must be made by plane to 
Merida. There is a regular plane schedule by 
a subsidiary of the Pan-American Airways. 
With Merida as a base, you can motor to the 
ruins of Chichen Itza, Uxmal and Kabah 
Labna and Sayil. (If you travel in Yucatan it 
is advisable to carry a small bottle of gasoline 
which, when daubed with cotton, is an effec- 
tive means of extracting the ticks which infest 
that part of the country.) 

• Transportation By Rail 

Travel from any point in the United States 
to Mexico City is convenient and luxurious. 
By the Southern Pacific or Missouri Pacific 
Railroads you can reach one of the main gate- 
ways to Mexico and on the same Pullman, be 
carried across the border and, via the National 
Railways of Mexico, to Mexico City. Through 
sleeping car service is operated daily from St. 
Louis, Missouri, and San Antonio, Texas. The 

3 6 4 



train leaving St. Louis at 6.30 P.M. arrives 
at San Antonio the following evening. By 
breakfast the next morning you have crossed 
the Rio Grande at Laredo and are speeding 
through Northern Mexico, arriving at the 
capital the following evening. Customs inspec- 
tion at the border is made on the trains. 

The National Railways of Mexico now pro- 
vide high-class Pullman sleeping car service 
with standard Pullmans north of Mexico City 
and Pullman-built sleepers, designed for the 
narrow-guage railroad lines, south of the capi- 
tal. Meal service includes fully equipped cafe 
and broiler buffet cars under the management 
of the Pullman Company. The ticket agents 
at principal points and most of the conductors 
speak English. The trip via any one of the sev- 
eral different routes from the border to Mex- 
ico City is varied and interesting. 

• Rail-Plane 

For those whose time is limited there is a 
daily airplane service maintained by the Mex- 
ican Aviation Company — a branch of Pan- 
American Airways, Inc. — between the border 
and Mexico City. A twelve-passenger plane, 
with a crew of two pilots, radio operator and 
courier, leaves Brownsville, Texas each morn- 
ing at 8 130, arriving at the capital at 1 :30 
P.M. 

• By Water 

The Grace Line, the New York and Cuba 
Mail Steamship Company, and several smaller 
lines operate ships between the United States 
and Mexico. For those who have the time, the 
trip to Mexico by sea is the pleasantest. 

The New York and Cuba Mail Steamship 
Company operates the most direct line from 
New York to Mexico stopping at Havana, 
Cuba, and Progresso on the way to Vera Cruz. 
It is also the only way to get to Yucatan with- 
out flying, except via New Orleans. The Grace 
Line's luxurious new ships sail on a bi-monthly 
schedule between New York City and the port 
of Mazatlan on the west coast of Mexico. 
Also, from San Francisco and Los Angeles, 
California, to Mazatlan. The ships sailing 
from New York stop at two ports in South 
America, Panama, through the Canal to Costa 
Rica, El Salvador and Guatemala. This trip 
takes thirteen days from New York City to 
Mazatlan. From San Francisco to Mazatlan 

NATURAL HISTORY, NOVEMBER, 1 93 6 



takes four days, with a stop at Los Angeles on 
the second day. The Grace Line also make a 
round trip arrangement whereby one may go 
one way by rail and the other by boat. They 
will carry your automobile at a not exhorbi- 
tant rate. 

However, all types of automobiles can be 
hired in Mexico. Fords with drivers can be 
rented for approximately twenty-five cents in 
American money for each city trip in Mexico 
City. Larger cars cost from approximately 
seventy-five cents to a dollar and a half (Amer- 
ican) per hour. In other cities and towns the 
transportation arrangements are similar to 
those in the capital, though less extensive and 
often a little cheaper. 

Since schedules and facilities are liable to 
fluctuate, the prospective tourist is advised to 
consult an accredited travel agent for detailed 
information. 

• Climate 

Although Mexico has a variety of climates, 
depending mainly upon the differing altitudes, 
the greater part of the country has a summer 
temperature of approximately 7i°F for the 
warmest month, and perfect autumn weather 
all winter. There is a narrow strip of low- 
country along both coasts that is very hot ; then 
a quick rise in terraces to the great plateau 
1500 miles in length by 530 in breadth, with a 
mean elevation of about 5000 feet above sea 
level — Mexico City is 7349 feet. Above this, 
rise the snow-capped Sierra Madre Mountains. 

There is never any snow in any of the cities 
or towns of Mexico that the average tourist 
visits. The mercury rarely approaches the 
freezing point even in Mexico City. The mid- 
year months are cool and delightful all over 
Mexico except along the sea shore. The rainy 
season on the Mexican plateau is between June 
and September but the showers usually occur 
in the P.M. with clear days. April and May 
are the dusty season and not as pleasant as 
other months. 



• Clothes 

If you intend to visit Vera Cruz, Tampico, 
Manzanillo, or other coast towns, you will find 
very light clothing, suitable for the tropics, 
necessary for your stay in those parts. For the 
rest of the time, ordinary fall clothing, with a 
light coat for the cool evenings, will be most 
comfortable. The hotel dining rooms and res- 
taurants in Mexican cities do not require eve- 
ning dress, which is reserved for private social 
occasions. 

• What to Buy 

1 he Mexican Government will not allow 
Mexican relics of historical value to be taken 
out of the country, except by official permit 
obtainable at the Department of Historical 
Monuments, and they are watched for during 
the inspection of baggage at the custom-house. 
However, there are many interesting pieces, 
old and genuine but not of historical value 
from the government's viewpoint, which can 
be taken out without difficulty. 

The most popular purchases are: drawn 
work from Mexico City, Queretaro, Aguas- 
calientes and Celaya and pottery from Mexico 
City, Guadalajara, Puebla, Cuernavaca and 
Oaxaca. Each of these cities has considerable 
fame for its own particular product, the 
Guadalajara ware being perhaps the finest. 
Stones may be purchased in the following 
places: Queretaro for opals, Puebla for onyx 
and Mexico City for jade beads, masks and 
ornaments taken from the old Indian tombs of 
Mexico. In Mexico City also are marketed the 
turquoises mined near Zacatecas. Sarapes — the 
Indian blanket of Mexico — sombreros, palm 
hats and lace mantillas are other popular pur- 
chases. Some of the latter are made in Mexico 
but the finest are imported from Spain. Decor- 
ative articles to be collected in Mexico include 
lacquer work, silverware and paintings by 
modern Mexican artists. Useful souvenirs are 
baskets, sandals of leather (if well cured) and 
straw hats ; in Yucatan, hammocks. 



LOOKING INTO MEXICO 



365 



RECENTLY 
ELECTED 
MEMBERS 

* 



SINCE the last issue of Natural History, the fol- 
lowing persons have been elected members of 
the American Museum: 

Annual Members 

Mesdames J. Irene Blanck, Barbara M. Scholding. 

Sister M. Moneta O. P. 

Misses Emma F. Cragin, Harriet Keith Fobes, 
Rena Harden, Caroline Willis. 

Messrs. Norman Allderdice, Percy Laurance Bailey, 
Jr., Hazen Chatfield, Moses Feldman, Edward 
W. Harden, Charles B. Lauren, Harold K. Moran, 
James B. Neal, Kenneth F. Simpson, Chas. E. 
Steele, Joseph L. Webber, John Weil. 

Associate Members 
Mesdames Hilda F. Amidon, Irma R. Brown, 
George W. Coe, Alice D. Cooledge, Helen C. 
Dobson, Elizabeth B. French, Edward B. Holmes, 
Henry P. Megargee, Marshall Monroe. 

Misses Edna F. Browning, Clara Belle Burton, Bar- 
bara Davidson, Isabel A. Eldred, Janet M. 
Haskell, Jane Howard, Elizabeth M. Jones, 
Madeleine M. McCouch, Martha L. Orr, Anne 
Osborne, Mary E. Parlati, Ruth Rosenberg, 
Helen Seeley, Charlotte Swan, Agnes Townsend, 
Emma Clara Vandergrift, Isabel Veasey. 

Reverend George M. Link. 

Doctors Alice Barker Ellsworth, Robert Jacob Kas- 
san, Joaquin G. Lebredo, Joseph S. Wagenheim, 
S. Kendig Wallace. 

Messrs. Alva Z. Allen, Jacob Barshofsky, Jacob 
Borenstein, C. A. Borland, W. Donald Conkling, 
Ralph F. Donaldson, Peter Esherick, Frank E 
Farr, Owen Gudger, Frederick G. Hazeltine 
Julian W. Hill, Thomas Hodges, Carl Hoerman 
Harold Illich, Bert C. Jones, Robert A. Klein 
B. C. Lauren, M. Lauterbury-Diedel, Charles B 
Lawler, Benjamin Lipowsky, Augustus Ludwig 
A. F. Mack, J. Lepere Matthews, John B. Mc- 
Cabe, Leonard R. McMullen, John R. Mc- 
Vey, Jr., Meryl G. Mecchi, J. G. Merri- 
mon, H. C. Morrison, Alex C. Motsinger, 
John D. Osbourne, Dirk Perper, P. V. Roberts, 
D. E. Rust, Folke E. Sellman, Edward G. Spar- 
row, H. T. Staber, James O. Stevenson, A. L. 
Stock, Andrew W. Welch, John W. Willis, Wil- 
liam H. Wood. 

BULLETIN 

Vol. LXXII, Art. IV.— The Hyraxes Collected by 
The American Museum Congo Expedi- 
tion. By Robert T. Hatt. 

3 66 



ONE OF THE WONDERS 
OF THE MODERN WORLD 



WELL- 
INFORMED 
TRAVELERS 
MAKE 
SURE 
OF SEEING 
EVERY- 
THING 
Via 

GUIDED 
TOURS 

They take you to 
chief points of in- 
terest, including 
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Over one-sixth mile high, 
they afford thrilling view 
of New York City. . .40^ 

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NOVITATES 

No. 877. Notes on the Anatomy of the Viscera of 
the Giant Panda (AUuropoda melano- 
leuca). By H. C. Raven. 

878. On the Phylogenetic Relationships of the 
Giant Panda (AUuropoda) to other 
Arctoid Carnivora. 



23 LANGUAGES 



Speak FRENCH or any other 
modern language in a few 
months by LINGUAPHONE 
Unique method brings voices 
of native masters into your own 
home. Call for demonstration or 
Send for FREE book No.NH51 



LINGUAPHONE INSTITUTE 

RCA Bldg • -Mezzanine 22 
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NATURAL HISTORY, NOVEMBER, 1 936 




NATURAL 
HISTORY 






■^H 






DECEMBER L936 FIFTY CENTS 




Dr. FRANK M. 
CHAPMAN 

Curator of Birds at the American Museum of 
Natural History, has written one of the most 
fascinating nature books of recent years 

MY TROPICAL 
AIR CASTLE 

It is the story of Dr. Chapman's visits to Bairo 
Colorado Island, in Gatum La"ke, Panama. As 
the N. Y. Times says: "There are pages in 'My 
Tropical Air Castle' so vivid, so richly colored, 
so full of fine emotion, written in close-kn t, 
rhythmical prose, that are a revelation to those 
who thought they knew Frank Chapman well. 
They take rank in that restricted and precious 
group of writings which are at once masterpieces 
of natural history and admirable literature: 
books of which W. H. Hudson is the outstand- 
ing example." 

SPECIAL OFFER to Members 
of the American Museum 
of Natural History: 



MY TROPICAL AIR CASTLE sets a 
new high-water mark in nature-writing, the pub- 
lisher is offering this volume to members of the 
Museum only at the special price of $3.00 
(regular price $5.00). The delightful scientific 
observations and the truly remarkable beauty of 
the text are enhanced by lavish illustrations of 
wild life, many of them taken with Dr. Chap- 
man's automatic flashlight camera. The result is 
a fascinating volume that will be welcomed by 
everyone who has the least feeling for the 
beauties of nature. To obtain your copy at the 
special reduced price of $3.00, available for a 
short time only to members of the American 
Museum of Natural History, tear out and sign 
the attached coupon, and we shall send your 
copy by return mail. 



D. APPLETON-CENTURY COMPANY, NH-12 

35 West 32nd Street, New York. 

Please send me a copy of Frank M. Chapman's 
"My Tropical Air Castle." for which I enclose $3.00. 
the special price at which you are offering the boo'; 
to Members of the American Museum of IS'atiiral 
History for a short time. 



ONE OF THE WONDERS 
OF THE MODERN WORLD 



WELL- 
INFORMED 
TRAVELERS 
MAKE 
SURE 
OF SEEING 
EVERY- 
THING 
Via 

GUIDED 
TOURS 

They take you to 
chief points of in- 
terest, including 
Music Hall and 70- 
story Observation 
Roofs $1 



OBSERVATION 
ROOFS 

Over one-sixth mile high, 
they afford thrilling view 
of New York City. . .404} 

• 
FI 'rite for Illustrated Pamphlet 




ockcfeller Center, 48th to 51st Sts., 
5th to 6th Avcs., New York City. 



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broadcasting 40^ 



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Big Game Hunting 
in Africa 

Lions, Buffalos, Rhino, 
and Elephants, etc. etc. 

• 
A. J. KLEIN 

Twenty-five years professional 

big game hunter is open 

for engagements 



P. O. Uox 699 

NAIROBI, KENYA COLONY 

Cubitus " Leopard ," ISairttbi 



NATURAL HISTORY 

The Magazine of the American Museum of Natural History 
VOLUME XXXVIII * * * * DECEMBER L936 



Hawaiian Feather Cape Cover Design 

Designed by Charles Curtis Hulling (See page 4.42) 

Orang-Utan of Borneo Frontispiece 368 

The Master Key to Oil Brooks F. Ellis 369 

How microscopic fossils are used as chics in locating buried reservoirs of oil 

Air Conditioning in Nature William K. Gregory 382 

Showing how our nasal chamber is equipped to cleanse and temper the 
air we breathe 

Fleischmann-Clark, American Museum, Indo-China Expedition.... James L. Clark 385 

An expedition into the remote and little known countries of 

Indo-China and Annum 

The Conquest of the Air Willy Ley 391 

Nature's achievements in the air compared with man's 

William B. Whitney Tibetan-Lamaist Collection 397 

An accession covering the religious art of Tibet 

The Story of Domestic Animals in America George G. Goodwin 403 

Nearly all animals vital to the growth of this continent were importations 

White-lipped Peccary Frank M. Chapman 408 

A generally feared inhabitant of tropical American forests becomes 
a near neighbor of naturalists 

Andorra, a Country in the Past Lawrence Fernsworth 414 

One of the world's smallest countries clings to medieval ways 

The Flesh Fly + 2 9 

A photo-serial of the life-cycle of these cosmopolitan flics 

The Penitentes Florence May 435 

A cult within our borders which performs annually a grim ritual of self-torture 

The Indoor Explorer D. R. Barton 439 

Your New Books 443 

Science in the Field and in the Laboratory 447 

Passport to Indo-China 453 



Publication Office: American Museum of Subscriptions. Natural History is sent to all 
Natural History, Seventy-ninth Street at Cen- members of the American Museum as one of 
tral Park West New York, N. Y. the privileges of membership. Membership 

Supervisor, Charles J. O'Connor. 
Editorial: Edward M. Weyer, Jr., Ph.D., Edi- 
tor; D. R. Barton, Frederick L. Hahn. Advertising: Sherman P. Voorhees, The Amer- 
ican Museum of Natural History. 
Manuscripts should be sent to the Editor, 
The American Museum of Natural History, Copyright, 1936, by The American Museum 
New York N. Y. of Natural History, New York, N. Y. 




Orang-utan of Borneo 

Weighing an estimated JOO pounds, the spec- utan ever captured. Being a mature adult, he 
tacular creature recently brought hack by will never abandon his jungle habits, and will 
Martin Johnson, is perhaps the largest orang- thus make a valuable subject for scientific study 



The Master Key to Oil 

How the petroleum geologist locates buried reservoirs of 
"liquid gold," using microscopic fossils as clues 



By Brooks F. Ellis 

New York University 

FAR below the earth's surface a huge 
steel drill dangles at the end of a half 
mile of cable. Endlessly it plunges up 
and down, punching a hole ever deeper into 
the earth in quest of hidden reservoirs of 
petroleum. 

A 3000-foot well often costs as much as 
$30,000. Will that $30,000 pay for a dry 
hole in the ground or for a new fortune? 
What assurance is there that oil reservoirs 
exist in any particular locality? Can this be 
determined from the surface? 

"Oil smellers" 

Since the days of Drake and his Titusville 
well, many answers have been given to these 
questions by a great variety of people. An 
endless procession of "oil smellers," divining 
rod experts, peach twig manipulators and as- 
sorted quacks have offered their services to 
oil prospectors at a price. In one celebrated 
instance, a peach twig expert grasped the 
forked stick of his cult and after an appro- 
priate wait solemnly pronounced, "There is 
no oil here." Unknowingly he stood directly 
over a bruised pipe line transporting oil in 
a six-inch stream. Again a "smeller" walked 
across a field, drove a stake and on that spot 
a hundred-barrel well was brought in. In the 
next valley he subsequently located a dozen 
dry holes. 

Endlessly these instances were multiplied, 
with the law of averages getting in its deadly 
work, until most producers were driven to the 
verge of apoplexy by the mere suggestion that 
anyone could help them locate oil well sites. 



Small wonder then that they turned a deaf 
and stony ear to the geologist's suggestion that 
he might be able to reduce the hazard. Nor 
was their attitude particularly softened by the 
fact that the early attempts of geologists 
weren't anything to brag about. Gradually, 
however, they were forced to admit that the 
application of scientific principles and geo- 
logic knowledge did materially reduce the 
number of failures. The large companies were 
the first to recognize this and to establish 
geologic departments to guide them in the 
search for petroleum. Smaller companies and 
individual operators followed their lead more 
slowly; and by the second decade of the pres- 
ent century the value of the geologist to the 
industry was well established. 

The petroleum geologist did not rest con- 
tent, however, but continued diligently to im- 
prove his methods and to search for a master 
key to his problems. What he wanted was 
some means by which he could get a picture 
of subsurface conditions, much as the X-ray 
guides the operating surgeon. 

In sedimentary rocks 

The oil-bearing rock layers are nearly al- 
ways of the sort that have been laid down 
as sediment in bodies of water. Subsequent to 
their formation, these rock layers have been 
buried beneath other accumulated beds; and 
continental uplift has in many instances raised 
them far above the surface of the sea, so that 
rock layers containing petroleum are often 
found hundreds of miles from the present 
oceans. These reservoir rocks are chiefly sand- 
stones or porous limestones, although consid- 
erable oil has been produced from conglom- 
erates and shales. In the sandstones, the oil 



THE MASTER KEY TO OIL 



369 



occupies the space between the grains of the 
rock not rilled in by the cementing material. 
This space would appear, on first thought, 
to be too small to accommodate much liquid ; 
tests have demonstrated, however, that up to 
40 per cent of the total bulk is porous in some 
sandstones, although the average is about 16 
or 17 per cent. 

Sedimentary rocks cover three quarters of 
the land area of the earth and extend far 
underground in complicated series. Most of 
them do not contain any oil, but some hold 
oil worth millions of dollars. The petroleum 
geologist's problem is to determine whether 
beds that have elsewhere proved to be petro- 
liferous lie below, and if such is the case, 
where they can be tapped to best advantage 
by drilling. 

In determining what beds underlie a par- 
ticular area the geologist makes extensive use 
of the Geologic Column. This is a sort of 
master chart, containing all of the formations 
or layers of the earth's crust with the oldest 
at the bottom and the youngest at the top. 
By studying the rocks exposed in mountain 
sides, canyons, mine shafts, tunnels and drill 
holes, geologists have been able to determine 
the succession of beds in the various areas 
examined. These local succession charts were 
then combined to form the master chart. 

Dating the rock layers 

Fossils have been one of the most important 
tools used in correlating beds from various 
areas and placing them in their proper order 
in the Geologic Column. They are the re- 
mains of plants or animals that lived in the 
prehistoric seas when rock-forming sediments 
were being deposited, and sank to the bottom 
along with inorganic sediment and so were 
buried and preserved. Certain of them serve 
the geologist as labels in establishing the age 
of the rock layers. By using these index fos- 
sils the petroleum geologist is able to iden- 
tify the surface rocks in his area and to 
ascertain how they fit into the Geologic Col- 
umn. Through inspection of the column he is 
then able to say whether beds that have else- 
where] proved to be petroliferous may lie below. 

But the location of productive well sites 
depends not only on the existence of petro- 
liferous rocks but also upon structural traps 
in them capable of causing the accumulation 



of oil in one place. A glance at the accom- 
panying diagram will show one of the com- 
monest and most important types of oil trap. 
It is a wave-like arch in a series of layers 
produced in times long past by continued pres- 
sure. Natural gas and oil accumulate in this 
type of trap because both of these substances 
are lighter than water, which is the common- 
est occupant of sedimentary rocks. All too 
often for the producer's peace of mind the 
driller encounters salt water ; whereas the oil, 
which rises above the water and the gas that 
rises still higher is usually found where it 
has been caught in a structural trap. Another 
important type of structural trap is the dome. 




How "Forams" Locate Oil 
The search for buried reservoirs of oil is a 
search for traps in the rock layers. Identical 
microscopic fossils from drill samples at points 
A, B, C, and D reveal the presence of a dome- 
shaped structure contributing to the accumu- 
lation of oil and gas as shown 

This is really a modification of the arch or 
anticline; in it, as the name implies, the lay- 
ers have been bulged upward to form a dome. 
Here the accumulation of oil and gas occurs 
in exactly the same manner as in the elon- 
gated anticline. Likewise in other structural 
traps involving tilted layers, separation under 
gravity follows the same principles. 

Larger fossils useless 

Since these structural traps in reservoir 
rocks are subsurface features, usually not ap- 
parent at the surface, how is the geologist to 
detect their presence? How is he to identify 
beds that lie far below the surface and to 
determine their slope? The larger inverte- 
brate fossils, which served in the construction 
of the Geologic Column and are used in or- 
dinary correlation, are of very little service. 
Because of their large size they are broken 



370 



NATURAL HISTORY, DECEMBER, 1 936 



up by the drill so as to be unrecognizable 
and of little use in correlation. What then 
is the precious clue that will unlock the door 
of the earth's treasured fluid? 

The science of physics has been of some 
service. Instruments have been devised which 
interpret underground structure to some de- 
gree through the behavior of artificially pro- 
duced earthquake waves or by measuring vari- 
ations in the pull of gravity. But the value 
of these findings has been found chiefly in 
special cases and as checks on other methods. 

Though it seemed for a while that fossils 
had been of little account beyond the precincts 
of geologic science, the real key to the riddle 
of petroleum geology was found to lie in a 
certain kind of very small fossils. In well rec- 
ords and test borings where the usual index 
fossils are practically useless owing to their 
being broken up, a group of organisms has 
come to the rescue of the petroleum geologist 
as though it were practically made to order. 
These are the Foraminifera, or "Forams" as 
they are colloquially referred to, a group of 
single-celled animals with hard shell-like in- 
ternal skeletons. They have a wide geographic 
distribution, and many of them possess the 
fortunate attribute of having a very narrow 
range geologically. Combined with these fea- 
tures is the all-important one of minute size, 
which allows them to escape destruction by 
the drill. They are the master key to petro- 
leum. 

Guide to oil "traps" 

Not only do they serve to identify the vari- 
ous layers of rock encountered by the drill, 
but having done this they enable the geologist 
to plot the domes, ridges and valleys of buried 
structures. This he does by comparing the 
depths at which a key horizon is encountered 
in the various borings in the area being studied, 
just as a surveyor plots mountains and valleys 
from the altitude of selected points. Thus the 
Foraminifera are the clues to the location of 
the all-important structural traps. 

Certain members of this group have been 
known for a very long time. In 450 B. C. 
Herodotus saw the fossilized tests of forms 
that are now known as Nummulites or 
"Money Stones." This form is one of the 
giants of the group since it averages almost 
an inch in diameter. Owing to the large size 
of the tests Herodotus was able to observe 



the structure and form quite well and from 
his observations to conclude that they were 
once parts of living organisms. 

The builders of the Pyramids must have 
seen Nummulites also and wondered what 
they were, for the blocks used in their con- 
struction are composed quite largely of the 
shells of these animals. 

Aside from the giants of the group such 
as the Nummulites, most Foraminifera are 
very minute. The average specimen measures 
less than a fiftieth of an inch in diameter, 
and for this reason their existence was not 
suspected until the microscopes of pioneer 
workers revealed vast hordes of marvelously 
beautiful specimens. Soon naturalists in many 
lands became intrigued with the group and 
hundreds of papers were added to the litera- 
ture. Interest seems to have reached a peak 
in 1884 with the appearance of H. B. Brady's 
monograph describing the Foraminifera 
dredged up on the scientific voyage of H.M.S. 
Challenger. Since then, other expeditions, in 
addition to individual efforts and study, have 
resulted in the accumulation of a vast amount 
of information on the group. As a result, the 
limits of the order have been quite accurately 
established, and more than 12,000 species, 
grouped under some 1 100 genera, have been 
described and figured. 

The basis of this classification is the test 
or shell-like internal skeleton, the presence of 
which is diagnostic of the group. It may con- 
sist of one chamber or of many chambers ar- 
ranged according to a fixed pattern which is 
consistent for any genus but varies greatly 
between genera. The material of this test may 
be chitin (a horny substance), silica, agglu- 
tinated sand-grains or calcium carbonate. In 
the latter case it may be clear and glassy or 
it may resemble unglazed porcelain. 



Living "Forams" 

Present-day members of this group are al- 
most entirely marine and range from deep to 
shallow water. Many forms are pelagic and 
occupy the surface waters of the open sea. 
Millions of square miles of ocean bottom are 
covered with the abandoned shells of these ani- 
mals that have rained down on the slopes of 
the oceanic abyss where it does not exceed 
16,000 feet in depth. This depth has been 
termed the "Foraminiferal snow line," because 



THE MASTER KEY TO OIL 



371 



no shells accumulate below it, owing to the 
strong solvent action of very deep oceanic 
waters. 

Such, then, is the group to which the petro- 
leum geologist turned in his search for sub- 
surface indicators. Swiftly and effectively he 
turned the new tool from purely academic 
tasks to intensely practical ones. All of the 
wisdom of the old masters was drawn upon 
and their methods were quickly re-vamped to 
meet the new needs. To these the practical 
paleontologist added much in new points of 
view, methods and technique. 

His contributions were especially extensive 
in methods of handling these tiny fossils. 
Many ingenious devices and processes were 
developed to meet practically any condition 
and state of materials encountered. Some of 
these are, of necessity, quite complex, but the 
end result is the same — namely the mounting 
of specimens for observation under the micro- 
scope. 

One of the simplest ways of accomplishing 
this task is first to boil the samples in water 
to loosen the specimens from the matrix. 
When this is ineffectual or too slow, am- 
monium acetate is sometimes added to the 
water and the boiling is carried to a point 
where the solution is super-saturated. On 
cooling, the ammonium acetate, which has 
penetrated the matrix, crystallizes, and the at- 
tending expansion serves to aid in pulverizing 
the material surrounding the specimens. The 
sample is then washed in running water and 
dried, after which it is placed in a sorting 
dish about three inches in diameter. Next it 
is examined under the low power of a binocu- 
lar microscope. Since the field covers only a 
small portion of the dish, a special mechanical 
stage is used to insure a complete examination 
of all portions of the tray. Specimens are 
singled out and picked up on the moistened tip 
of a very fine sabel's hair brush, and finally 
mounted with water-soluble glue on opaque 
slides. They are then ready for study and final 
identification. 

Through the microscope 

This detailed examination is best accom- 
plished when the slide is mounted on a uni- 
versal stage which permits the specimen to be 
observed from all sides except that applied to 
the slide. If a universal stage is not used it 
then becomes necessary to loosen and re-ce- 



ment it on the slide in the several positions 
necessary to permit complete observation. 
Since the average size is well below a fiftieth 
of an inch, the latter method often results in 
the loss or destruction of specimens. 

The larger Foraminifera are exceedingly 
complex and it is necessary to prepare thin 
sections of these. This is accomplished by 
grinding away the specimen on one side until 
the plane of grinding passes through the struc- 
ture to be studied, cementing it on a trans- 
parent glass slide with Canada balsam, and 
then grinding away the other side until the 
desired thinness is secured. The section is then 
studied under the microscope by means of 
transmitted light. Many of the larger forms 
cannot be identified except through study of 
the internal structure of their tests or 
skeletons. 

Need of "dictionary" 

As soon as this new use for Foraminifera 
was discovered, geologists doing petroleum 
work found their efficiency greatly increased, 
especially when dealing with buried structures. 
Before long, however, it became evident that 
only a small fraction of the potentialities of 
these fossils could be realized. This was due 
to the fact that really effective work with 
the group depends on access to the literature 
in which individual genera and species have 
been described. Here the geologist found a 
most discouraging situation. Although scien- 
tists have been working on this group more 
than 150 years, their efforts have been indi- 
vidual and more or less independent. Con- 
sequently, the descriptions of the genera and 
species, so necessary to petroleum work, were 
about as much use as a dictionary would be if 
the definition of words were written in fifteen 
different languages, and the various parts of 
the book jumbled and scattered. 

This, indeed, was a major obstacle. Here 
was one of the finest keys to the problem and 
yet it could not be used except to a very 
limited extent. It was like a hundred horse 
power automobile with a capillary tube for a 
gas line. 

Long before anyone had thought of using 
Foraminifera for such practical things as pe- 
troleum prospecting, the chaotic conditions of 
the literature had been a source of great dif- 
ficulty to all workers. By the end of the nine- 
teenth century, the situation had become so 



372 



NATURAL HISTORY, DECEMBER, 1 93 6 



had that serious attempts were made to remedy 
it. One of these, Sherborn's great Index to 
Foraminifera, came out in 1893-96. This work 
was a distinct advance in that it listed the 
genera and species that had been described, 
and indicated where they could be found in 
the literature. Although this served as an im- 
portant guide, it still did not overcome the 
difficulty of securing the literature, nor did 
it pretend to untangle the hopeless snarl. 

Once Foraminifera became important in 
petroleum prospecting, however, the need for 
effective action became very pressing. As a re- 
sult, two great American students of the 
group set to work on critical studies of the 
genera, and both published the results of their 
investigations. Both of these works covered the 
same field, but from somewhat different view- 
points, and both became important guides to 
paleontologists. In spite of the excellence of 
these publications, the fundamental problem 
of access to the literature was not solved, nor 
did either scientist attempt the Herculean task 
of systematizing the more than 12,000 species. 

Many languages 

About this same time, the author became 
interested in the situation and envisaged a 
publication in which the essential parts of the 
literature would be assembled. Older and more 
experienced students of the group promptly 
pointed out the hopelessness of such an under- 
taking. They emphasized the fact that one per- 
son working all of his time could scarcely 
keep up with the current literature, to say 
nothing of systematizing the vast bulk of old 
European writings. Then there was the matter 
of language difficulties, since the scientific 
literature of some twelve to fifteen different 
countries was involved. These were the major 
barriers, but in addition there were literally 
hundreds of minor ones that served to make 
the task even more forbidding and apparently 
impossible. 

Nevertheless, the desirability of such a com- 
pilation loomed so large that it was started by 
the author some eight years ago as a purely 
private venture. Soon, however, New York 
University and the American Museum of 
Natural History became interested in this at- 
tempt and lent their aid to its furtherance. 
The Museum offered its very extensive library 
as a source of materials, and the University 



provided space and equipment. Student as- 
sistants, man} of them volunteer-., gave their 
time and talents in establishing the founda- 
tions of what lias later proved to be an enor- 
mous enterprise. Of a necessity, the work went 
forward slowly as none of the individuals 
engaged in it were able to spend all of their 
time on this endeavor. 

In 1933, however, a few trained people be- 
came available through the Gibson Committee 
which was organized to take care of people de- 
prived of employment by the depression. By 
examining a great number of these individuals 
it was possible to single out a few with train- 
ing and background suitable for the type of 
work involved. With the aid of these people 
the work was carried forward for about a 
year. At the same time very extensive plans 
were made so that if a large staff later became 
available the undertaking could go forward 
effectively and smoothly. 

When the Federal Government took over 
the administration of work relief, an applica- 
tion was made for a project to carry on this 
research on the literature of Foraminifera. 
This request was granted, and in January, 
1934, a staff of eighty-two people was as- 
sembled. After a year had elapsed, a critical 
study of the results was made, and on the 
basis of this study a new grant was made in 
August, 1935. This grant provided for an 
organization of two hundred people and the 
necessary supplies and equipment to carry on 
this complex undertaking. Great progress was 
made during the next twelve months, and at 
the end of that time arrangements were made 
to carry on the work for the additional year 
necessary to complete the task. The undertak- 
ing is now going forward under this present 
grant, and it is estimated that the manuscript 
will be ready for the publishers by the fall of 
1937- 

Twenty-five volumes 

In this undertaking, the original descrip- 
tion, the type figure, locality and level, and 
other important and significant data relating 
to each species of Foraminifera is being 
assembled, integrated and cross-indexed. In ad- 
dition, all subsequent references are being as- 
sembled and appended to each species in chron- 
ological order. The same general treatment is 
given each genus so that both species and 
(Continued on page 4.4.2) 



THE MASTER KEY TO OIL 



373 




The Master 

First glimpses of the tremendous plan now 
nearing completion which will enable the petro- 
leum geologist to utilize to their full capacity an 








Since the days when oil prospectors believed in the divining rod, 

science has developed extraordinary methods for locating oil. The 

latest and most effective is the use of microscopic fossils known as 

Foraminifera, which speak to the geologist in terms of buried rock 

structure 

Index "Forams" from drill samples, such as are shown on this page, 

establish the position of the various rock layers in the geological time 



Key to Oil 

incomparably valuable set of clues in his search 
for oil 





Q 




scale, and without actually denoting the presence of oil, enable the 
prospector to carry his search in the direction of oil-bearing beds. 
More important still, samples from adjacent drillings reveal the ex- 
istence of buried folds or domes in the rocks, like the one illustrated 
above in cross section, in which oil and gas are likely to accumulate. 
Because oil floats on water, it occupies a high portion in the "trap" 
shown in this diagram, with the natural gas filling the space at the top 



^ 




ft M 







V* 



'flp ^ 




From a washed sample of pulverized rock, 
shown highly magnified at left, the laboratory 
technician picks out significant specimens of 
Foraminifera for mounting and study. The 
sorting stage of the microscope both rotates 
and travels horizontally to facilitate selection. 
As shown above through the microscope the 
moistened tip of a brush is used for transferring 
the specimens to the mounting slide on which 
they are glued 



(Right) An index fossil greatly enlarged. 
This drawing, like the others accompanying 
this article, shows the artistic precision that the 
W.P.A. artists connected with the Project 
have had to exercise 



The cataloging of the 12,00c 
species of Foraminifera by thi 
Geological Research Project 
under the directorship of Dr 
Brooks F. Ellis will provide th< 
petroleum geologist with a 25 
volume encyclopedia of these fos 
sils, so important in the search 
for oil 



THE MASTER KEY TO OIL 



377 



/ ■* 



(Below) One of the 
smaller Foraminifera, 
placed in the eye of an 
ordinary needle to show 
its small size 




(Left) A TECHNICIAN studying "Forams" 
mounted on an opaque slide. Translucent 
sections such as form the background of 
page have to be made when surface characters 
do not identify the specimens 
A fascinating proof of the potential value of 
a "museum science" is the work which is mak- 
ing these minute clues, that look like nothing 
more than grains of sand, the master key to oil 



(Above) A glass model 
of a living Foraminifera, 
which like other present- 
day forms is not useful in 
identifying rocks that are 
millions of years old. No- 
tice the threads of pro- 
toplasm projecting from 
the skeletal shell 



Art Under the Microscope 



The role of "Forams" in art : 
aside from their vital im- 
portance to paleontology/ and 
stratigraphy, this type of tiny 
organisms constitutes a fasci- 
nating study in the funda- 
mentals of aesthetic design 




A STUDY OF TYPICAL "FoRAMS' ! 



Pendant "Foram": a striking drawing by the W.P.A. artists 
on the Geological Research Project. These microscopic or- 
ganisms are of great interest to designers because of the 
variety of basic aesthetic forms 






Starlike "Forams" : unusual evidence of their varied formations 
Nature's acorn motif; drop-like "Foram" ; and a gourd "Foram 





380 



NATURAL HISTORY, DECEMBER, I 936 






Spiral Foram and tivo types of the rosette structurt 



The cone, the bell-like contour and the cornucopia design 






All these "Forams" represent Nature's most minute concep- 
tion of line, form and plane. Faithfully rendered as these 
drawings are from a scientific point of view, the artists have 
lost nothing of their distinctive aesthetic qualities 




In a great many cases these 
"Forams" combine two or 
more basic motives as shown in 
the above drawing 




The types shown on these 
pages represent only a few of 
the basic aesthetic forms that 
are expressed by the 12,000 
different species of "Forams" 



ART UNDER THE MICROSCOPE 



381 



Air Conditioning in Nature 

Showing how our nasal chamber is equipped to cleanse and 
temper the air we breathe, but less effectively than in some animals 



By William K. Gregory 

Curator of Comparative 

When we have a cold in the head, one 
of the reasons why we feel miserable 
is that our natural air conditioning ap- 
paratus has been put out of commission. 
Evolution through countless generations has 
developed in the nasal chamber facilities for 
modifying or conditioning every breath of air 
that we draw. 

The modern air conditioning machines used 
in theaters, stores, offices and homes cool and 
reduce the humidity of summer air, and filter 
it. A similar service is performed by the nasal 
passages. 

"Radiators" 

The air we breathe on a cold winter's day 
is warmed by contact with a large surface of 
mucous membrane in the nasal chamber copi- 
ously supplied with blood vessels. Though the 
actual size of the nasal chamber is small, the 
area of the mucous membranes is compara- 
tively large owing to their being complexly 
folded, much in the way that the surface of a 
house radiator is increased by its projecting 
fins. 

The membranes of the nose are kept moist 
and in this way are prevented from drying and 
cracking. The air that is inhaled takes up mois- 
ture from wet surfaces in proportion to its 
own lack of it. The mucous itself also helps 
to cleanse the air of dust. The foreign particles 
stick to the mucous membrane and are washed 
off into the passage that leads to the throat or 
are blown out through the nose. Thus the 
nasal chamber warms, moistens, and cleanses 
the air we breathe. The brain is further pro- 



tected from extreme cold by the sinuses or 
cavities which separate it from the cold air that 
strikes the face and is inhaled. 

Man is not as well equipped for the func- 
tion of air conditioning, however, as many of 
the lower animals. In certain mammals, such 
as the members of the family including the 
badgers, weasels, skunks, mink, otters, etc., the 
nasal membranes are particularly well devel- 
oped, and the air that is drawn into the nasal 
chamber and passes through its "radiators" is 




Man's Air 
Conditioning Equipment 

The moist membranes of the turbinals, copi- 
ously supplied with blood vessels, cleanse the 
air of dust and warm it in cold weather 



38: 



NATURAL HISTORY, DECEMBER, 1 93 6 



to a greater degree wanned or moistened by like bones called turbinate bones or turbinals, 
the hot blood that courses through them, of which there are two groups. The mem- 
Doubtless this lessens the shock of extreme brane which is attached to the upper and inner 
cold air to the sensitive nerves of smell and turbinals (ethmo-turbinals) is the seat of the 
prevents undue congestion of blood in the brain smell-detecting organs; whereas the lower and 
itself. In man as well as other animals the forward membrane is devoid of smelling 
membranes are supported by delicate shell- organs. 




\ > Ethmo-Turbinal 
\/ 
,'\ 

' , Maxillo-Turbinal 



Chimpanzee 



The complexly folded membranes of the nasal 
chamber are supported by the delicate, shell- 
like turbinate bones. In the form and arrange- 
ment of these nasal "radiators," man most 

AIR CONDITIONING IN NATURE 



Man and Chimpanzee Compared 

closely resembles the gorilla and chimpanzee , 
whereas in some of the northern fur-bearing 
animals the turbinals are much further 
developed 

383 




Especially in the seal 
does the air condi- 
tioning apparatus 
reach a high devel- 
opment, as is appar- 
ent from the accom- 
panying drawing 
showing the complex 
network of the for- 
ward turbinals 



The fact that the scrolls of the turbinals 
are much more complexly folded in most mam- 
mals than in man and present a greater surface 
to the incoming air is doubtless one of the 
causes of the superior smelling power of the 
lower animals. Man, as a rule, is far inferior 
to them in the delicacy of perception of smells. 

Man most nearly approaches the chimpanzee 
and gorilla in the form and arrangement of the 
scrolls. These tropical animals possess a nasal 
air conditioning equipment that is much closer 
to man's than is that of the northern fur-bear- 



ing animals. It is in the latter that the air 
conditioning apparatus reaches its peak. Espe- 
cially in the seals are the forward turbinals 
(maxillo-turbinals) well developed, as can be 
seen by a comparison of the accompanying 
illustrations. 

Doubtless man's poor equipment in nasal air 
conditioning apparatus is one of the reasons 
why either cold or very dry and hot air is so 
unpleasant in the human nasal chamber and 
why well-conditioned air is so welcome to us, 
both in summer and winter. 



Ethmo-Turbinal Radiator 



Incoming 
air 




Palate 



Maxillo-Turbinal Radiator 



Perception of Smell 

A reason for the superior smelling ability of the smell-detecting organs. The drawing above 
many mammals is seen in their complexly shows how these turbinals are well developed 
folded ethmo-turbinals, which are the seat of in the keen-scented coati, a racoon-like animal 



384 



NATURAL HISTORY, DECEMBER, I 93 6 



o 



x 
W 

a 

u 
6 

a 



p 

CO 
P 



a 

O 

H 



J* 

U 



£ 
u 

CO 




Sorting and packing expedition equip- 
ment. From civilization the Expedition struck 
north into the back country where they estab- 
lished their field camps and did their collecting 





Traveling as far as they could go by auto 
they transferred all equipment to the bullock 
carts of the Mois and bumped along over na- 
tive by-ways through jungles to the game fields 



386 



NATURAL HISTORY, DECEMBER, 1 936 



Base camp was established in a tropical setting 
on the banks of the Lagna River. Here tigers 
roamed the jungle and fresh tracks uere seen 
daily sometimes within n hundred yards uf the 

camp 











Although roaming hep.ds of elephants 
often passed by their encampment and sere- 
naded them as they supped in their open air 
dining room they dined well with French cook- 
ing prepared over a fire built in a hole dug in 
the ground 



FLEISCHMANN-CLARK, AMERICAN MUSEUM, INDOCHINA EXPEDITION 



387 



Life 



Local natives, the Mois,' the aborigines of 
the French Indo-China country were recruited 
as guides and porters. They lived on the river 
bank by the camp under the shelter of simple 
structures of bamboo and palm leaves 



in a 
Moi 

Village 



Women and children of the Moi. Like 
most native tribes the women and children 
tend the garden, gather the crops and grind 
the rice while the young boys herd the stock. 
The men hunt and fish or lumber the big 
trees and sell hewn logs to the white men 




3 88 



NATURAL HISTORY, DECEMBER, 1936 



Native villages of the Mois were scattered 
through the surrounding country. Within such 
a compound several community houses are built 
on high stilts as protection against tigers, snakes 
and floods 



Mill MEN IX - THEIR VILLAGE COMPOUND. The 
Alois are of Malay extraction. They are pri- 
marily rice eaters, clearing forest areas and 
tilling the soil for rice paddies. As there is no 
irrigation they depend wholly upon the rains 




FLEISCHMANN-CLARK, AMERICAN MUSEUM, INDO-CHINA EXPEDITION 



MOI PORTERS PREPARING SPECIMENS TAKEN 
BY THE EXPEDITION. Complete specimens of 
the Asiatic water buffalo, the Saladang or 
Guar-ox and the wild-ox called the Banting 
were secured as well as many lesser animals. 
Birds, reptiles, fish and other interesting speci- 
mens, also swelled their collection 



Dr. Clark and a full grown mouse deer 
collected by him while night hunting. This, the 
smallest of all deer, stood only eight inches at 
the shoulders and weighed but four pounds. 
When skinned it was found to contain a full 
grown embryo which was preserved and added 
to the collection of valuable specimens 



(Lower left) An annamite village street. 
The Annamites, the "civilized" people of 
Annam, are of Mongolian extraction and build 
adobe houses of quite pretentious design and 
detail. They too live principally on rice; but 
do not intermarry with the Moi 



(Lower right) Mat. Max C. Fleischmann, 
international sportsman and big-game 
HUNTER sponsored the expedition and through 
his tireless efforts in the field secured many of 
the expedition's most valuable specimens 




m I 



T(he Conquest of the Air 

Nature's achievements in the air compared with man's : the 
story of flight from prehistoric times to the present 



By Willy Ley 

Drawings by George F. Mason 

ONE sometimes reads that the conquest 
of the air was first made in 1783, 
when the Montgolfier brothers in 
France filled for the first time a big bag of 
paper with heated air. Needless to say this is 
the statement of the engineer, not of the 
natural historian. 

As a matter of fact, it could be argued that 
the Montgolfiers were certainly not the first 
men to attempt to fly, and it is even doubtful 
whether they were the first to succeed. Then, 
it has to be stated that the assumption of the 
engineers that there are only men and ma- 
chines on earth, is wrong. The flying animals 
and also plants existed for hundreds of mil- 
lions of years before the appearance of man. 

Lessons from Nature 

The real assertion we must make about 
human aviation was expressed as early as about 
a thousand years ago with the short sentence 
"Natura Artis Magistra" Nature is the 
master (teacher) of the arts. If there were no 
flying animals man might never have thought 
of flying. 

Natura Artis Magistra must not be misun- 
derstood. Man does not follow Nature exactly. 
Any attempt to copy exactly is bound to fail 
for the perfectly logical reason that we do not 
construct on the same scale and with the same 
materials used by Nature. There are inven- 
tions that work satisfactorily when demon- 
strated with small models, but when built on 
large scale in exactly the same proportions, 
they fail to work, because the ratio between 
stresses and strength changes with the size. A 
dragon-fly seems a perfect airplane, but if it 



had the dimensions of a real airplane it would 
break to pieces if it only tried to beat its wings. 
There was a short period in the development 
of the railway, when engineers tried to imitate 
the legs of a horse on the locomotive. These 
experiments, which seem ridiculous to our 
knowledge, had soon to be abandoned. Their 
inventors had not learned from Nature but 
had tried to imitate Nature exactly, just as 
did some of the first inventors of airplanes 
when they tried to make them beat their wings. 

Principles 

There are widely differing ways in which 
flying is achieved, both in Nature and in 
human aviation. A zeppelin flies and a China 
clipper flies, but the principles are not the 
same. Likewise the flight of the swallow and 
of a flying squirrel differ in principle. 

Basically there are two main types of flight, 

(1) the flight of "heavier-than-air" bodies 
(also called dynamic flight or real flight) ; and 

(2) the flight of "lighter-than-air" bodies 
(static flight or floating flight). Balloons, 
stratosphere balloons, sounding balloons and 
airships operate under the second principle, 
owing to the fact that they have a huge bag 
filled with a gas that is lighter than air. If 
the craft has propellers they are used mainly 
for horizontal movement. 

The airship type of flying does not occur in 
the animal kingdom. But plants have taken 
advantage of the fact that heated air is lighter 
than cold air and tends to rise. There is a pine 
tree in Europe, the German Kiefer, which 
grows in great abundance in Northern Ger- 
many, especially in the province of Branden- 
burg around Berlin. On calm, warm days one 
can observe big yellow clouds, hovering just 



THE CONQUEST OF THE AIR 



391 



above the tree-tops of the forests. These clouds 
are dust clouds, composed of myriads of tiny 
particles of pollen. Every one of these pollen 
particles has two microscopic bags of skin at- 




One of the earliest 
creatures to fly: 



Paleodictyoptera. 
(After Handlirsch) 



tached to it, filled with a small quantity of 
air. When the sun's rays strike the pollen (in 
the open male flowers of the tree) the air in 
the little skin bags is heated, it expands and, 
being warmer and lighter than the surround- 
ing air carries the pollen upward. If there is 
no wind to blow them away they float above 
the forest all through the day until sunset 
comes. Then the lifting power of the air bags 
diminishes and the pollen begin to float gently 
downward. Billions and billions miss their 
destination and die, but a few of them fall on 
the open female flowers of the trees and grow 
into seeds. The latter, incidentally, are later 
capable of another kind of flight, having 
adopted the twirling autogiro principle used 
by the seeds of elm and maple trees. 

The other method of flying, that of heavier- 
than-air bodies, includes three methods, namely, 
gliding, soaring, and true flying. A fourth 
method has been added recently by man, the 
reaction principle, which makes powder-filled 
sky rockets as well as scientifically designed 
liquid fuel rockets shoot up into the sky. But 
here again, Natura Artis Magistra; there is 
nothing really new under the sun. The squid 
and all other Cephalopoda, along with most 
jelly-fish {Medusa and Siphonophora) swim 
by this same principle, though it has not been 
utilized in the air by any animal. 

Actual flight differs from soaring and glid- 
ing mainly in one respect: it requires power, 
muscular power or engine power, as the case 
may be. Gliding (powerless) flight in still air 



can never attain altitudes above the point of 
departure; powered flight can. Powered flight 
produces artificially, either with beating wings 
or by means of a propeller, a stream of air 
which enables the body to move not only hori- 
zontally but also up and down. Whether the 
machine is an ordinary airplane, an autogiro 
or a helicopter does not matter, all are in this 
respect applications of the same principle. 

While we know exactly when and where 
powered free flight with a heavier-than-air 
plane was successfully made for the first time 
— it was the flight of the Wright Brothers' 
"strange contraption" at Kitty Hawk — it is 
somewhat obscure and doubtful when Nature 
succeeded for the first time in the same task. 
We can only judge from the fossils we have 
found, and these tell us that the first real 
flyers on earth were certain insects of the 
Carboniferous Period. Among these were what 
may best be described as gigantic dragon flies, 
which attained a wing-spread of about seventy 
centimeters, almost thirty inches! Actually 
they are only distantly related to our present- 
day dragon flies and had many radically differ- 
ent features. Then too there were the curious 
Paleodictyoptera which had evolved three pairs 




A prehistoric flying reptile: 
Pterodactylus 



of wings. All insects have three pairs of legs 
when adult or else have lost them through de- 
generation. They never had more. But the 
wings apparently did not follow the rule of 



392 



NATURAL HISTORY, DECEMBER, 1 93 6 



three pairs. Only the Paleodictyoptera had 
"full wing equipment," butterflies and dragon 
flies have two pairs of wings, other insects show 
only one pair or none, and a few like the com- 
mon fly prove that there was once a second 
pair which has degenerated. No insects, either 
living or fossil, were ever known to possess a 
trace of a third pair of wings until these Car- 
boniferous fossils came to light. They show the 
original third pair very distinctly; but they also 
show that it was already degenerate in those 
times. 

The other branch of true flyers of today 
are the birds, whose ancestors were presum- 
ably the flying reptiles of the Jurassic Period. 
The feathers of birds are nothing but the 
modified scales of their reptilian forebears, 
their wings the changed fore-limbs of tree- 
climbing animals. When certain prehistoric 
lizards developed wing-like membranes they 
became what we call Pterosauria or flying 
lizards. 

We know the fossil remains of many dozens 
of different types and varieties of pterosaurians, 
ranging in size from a sparrow to an eagle. 
One kind are called the Pterodactyli ("winged- 
fingered creatures") from the fact that the 
wing-membrane extends from the tip of a 
greatly elongated fourth digit, along the back 
of the arm and the side of the body. Its mode 
of life was probably very much the same as 



that of the bats of today; the large eyes of 
many ancient varieties even indicate that they 
flew chiefly in the dark or at least in twilight. 
The severed species of the genus known as the 
Rhamphorhynchus are more slender and are 
equipped with a long tail at the end of which 
is a curious little leathery "rudder." Many 
scientists call this type a "reptilian sea gull" 
and believe that it lived mainly near the sea- 
shore and fed on fishes. 

While the Pterodactyli and the Rhamphor- 
hynchi were primarily European types and be- 
longed for the greater part to the Jurassic 
Period, America had produced the remains of 
the largest flying animal that ever existed. 
This was Pteranodon ingens (the "giant tooth- 
less flyer"), which has been found in the 
United States in the so-called Niobrara layers 
of the Cretaceous Period. Pteranodon s wing- 
spread was enormous, up to an estimated 21 
feet. At the time when it existed parts of the 
present-day United States were covered by a 
sea, known as the American Niobrara Sea, and 
it was over these waters that Pteranodon flew 
in search of fish for food. Pteranodon was a 
short-tailed type, but it nevertheless had its 
"rudder" attached curiously enough to its 
head in the form of a long bony keel-like 
ridge on the back of the skull. 

The third group of active flyers, the bats, 
appeared on earth much later than the birds. 




A curious little leathery 
"rudder" aided the ex- 
tinct Rhamphorhynchus 



The largest flying ani- 
mal that ever existed: 
Pteranodon ingens 



THE CONQUEST OF THE AIR 



393 




Fruit-eating bat 

They evolved during the Tertiary Period, 
when the pterosaurians were already extinct. 
These three groups of animals, pterosaurians, 
birds and bats represent three different ways 
in which the fore-limbs have developed to form 
wings. While two of the original five fingers 
of the birds grew together and provide only 
the "leading edge" for the stiff feathers that 
form the wing, in the case of the bat four of 
the fingers grew out of all proportion, so that 
they form the skeletal structure of the men- 
branous wing. The pterosaurians also used 
skin as the material of their wings. But this 
skin was spread from only one finger, the 
fourth finger, which grew as long as the arms 
and the body of the animal together. 

Why we have not been able to construct 
airplanes that beat their wings is easy to ex- 
plain; they are much too large for this prin- 
ciple of operation. For other reasons no flying 



animal ever developed a propeller. We have 
the negative analogy that Nature never de- 
veloped the wheel. Among Nature's building 
materials are blood vessels and nerves. These 
materials are unsuited for a wheel-like organ 
because they would be twisted around each 
other and torn off at the connecting point. 
This obstacle is circumvented in mechanical 
construction, but with the living tissue as ma- 
terial it appears to be impossible. 

With the exception of a little crab all 
gliders are vertebrate ("backboned") animals 
and there are representatives of them in all 
classes. Among the fishes we have the flying 
(more properly called gliding) fish, which are 
abundant in all tropical and semi-tropical seas 
and known to everybody who ever lived in or 
visited the tropics. 

Though there are at least fifty varieties of 
"flying fish" known and though they can be 
observed in large numbers on almost any day 
of the year it has been a matter of lively con- 
troversy for many years whether the "flying 
fish" are flyers or gliders. This controversy is 
definitely settled now, the flying fishes do not 
fly. Their fins seem to move sometimes, but 
this is only a quivering motion. The "flight" 
of fishes is a prolonged jump out of the water 
which turns into a glide. The large pectoral 
fins which serve as wings do not beat the air 
as has been believed. 

The fish propels itself under water and 
jumps out of it with high speed at an angle 




Flying fish 



394 



NATURAL HISTORY, DECEMBER, 1 93 6 



which approximates thirty degrees. Once the 
water is left the large pectoral lins arc spread 
and carry the fish over a considerable distance, 
"flights" of 600 feet having been reported. 
That the prolonged jump is no actual flight 
is evident alone from the fact that Hying fishes 
are never seen in the air on still days. They 
need wind to fly. 

Some observers have reported that their 
flight shows an undulating motion correspond- 
ing to the waves of the sea. This is only 
natural, for the air currents conform to the 
curvature of the waves. Indeed, an up-draft 
will sometimes send a flying fish to the deck 
of a vessel, where a local calm area causes the 
creature to drop helpless. 

The next class of the vertebrate animals, 
the amphibians, apparently never made a 
really successful attempt to conquer the air. 
Of all amphibians only one makes a feeble 
effort to rule the air, the "flying frog" (Poly- 
pedates reinhardtii) of Java. It is a good-sized 
frog that lives in the tops of the trees and 
actually flies to a small extent by using its 
enormous webbed feet in a sort of gliding fall. 
It is conceivable that sometime in the remote 
future Polypedates may improve its aerial tac- 
tics beyond this simple maneuver and win a 
more worthy place among the creatures that 
have undertaken to master the realm of the air. 

In the same tree with Polypedates lives the 
only flying reptile of today, the "flying dragon" 
(Draco volans). In spite of its formidable 
name it is only a small and delicately built 
tree-lizard, about four inches long. Its "para- 
chute" is of a type that bears no resemblance 
to that of any other animal. From either side 
of the body a number of ribs extend to form 
the skeleton for the parachute, the shape of 
which differs with the variety. Some have tri- 
angular parachutes, others semicircular ones. 

It is not quite true that the flying dragon is 
the only reptile of our times that attempts to 
glide through the air. A snake in the East 
Indies, Chrysopelea ornata, has learned a simi- 
lar trick. It also lives on trees and while glid- 
ing over twigs and branches the snake is able 
to flatten its body to such an extent that it 
begins to resemble a folded sheet of paper. 
In this position, stiffening the body like a stick, 
the snake can glide through the space between 
two trees over considerable distances and with 
high speed. 

There remain only two other classes of 




"Flying fray" 



vertebrate animals, the birds and the mammals. 
The study of the flight of birds is complicated, 
and can scarcely be gone into in a general dis- 




Flying dragon" 



cussion; and the peculiar wings of bats have 
already been mentioned. But there are a few 
mammals besides the bat which have achieved 




Flying squirre 



THE CONQUEST OF THE AIR 



395 



a certain degree of aerial ability. They possess 
a skin stretched out on either side of the body 
between fore and hind legs, and the long tail 
acts as a rudder in flight. The flying squirrel 
belongs in this class. Then there are gliding 
marsupials, which have developed the same 



served on the high seas (Darwin related one 
case), and it is certainly not by accident that 
the varieties of spiders that make these flying 
webs have an especially wide distribution. It 
has also been observed that small caterpillars 
make flights of the same kind, either on 
threads spun by themselves or simply with 
the long furry hair that covers their bodies. 
Whether the caterpillars make these flights 
otherwise than by accident, is still disputed. 

The conquest of the air began about five 
hundred million years ago or more, when the 
possibly Devonian ancestors of the Paleodic- 
tyoptera started flying. And the conquest has 




method. And finally there is the "flying 
lemur," Galeopithecus, which looks like a very 
large flying squirrel. It is not a squirrel, how- 
ever, and has been classed in a separate order 
including only one family and two varieties. 

Galeopithecus leads a life that resembles 
that of certain tropical fruit-eating bats. Dur- 
ing the day it sleeps in the trees, wrapped in 
its parachute and hanging by all four limbs, 
like a sloth. When darkness arrives it starts 
out on its nightly expeditions. It is to be noted 
that Galeopithecus is the best glider of them 
all, and special muscles in the skin of the 
parachute seem to indicate that the flight is 
not absolutely passive. 

To this long list of active and passive flyers 
we have to add young spiders of several varie- 
ties. They take long air rides on threads spun 
especially for this purpose. The thread is al- 
most without weight yet it offers sufficient sur- 
face in an ascending breeze to carry the rider 
upwards and enable it to drift. Small spiders 
wafted along in this manner have been ob- 



" Flying lemur" 



continued all through the geological ages and 
is still going on. Man has observed the meth- 
ods used by the animals, and has imitated 
them. He has modified the methods, but the 
flying animal and the flying machine obey the 
same natural laws. He has succeeded in rising 
into the air far higher than the birds ; and one 
hesitates to set an ultimate limit on his aerial 
activities. In horizontal distance the non-stop 
cruising range of modern airplanes is already 
greater than that of such hardy migrants as 
the golden plover, which flies from Bering Sea 
to Hawaii. But lest we imagine that man has 
duplicated mechanically all the aerial feats of 
Nature, let it be pointed out that even the 
fastest airplanes are possibly not as yet able to 
surpass the reported speed of certain insects. 



Natural History has the honor to announce the publica- 
tion in a future issue of an article by Amelia Earhart on the 
subject of Speed. The article will be an interpretive study 
of the fastest speeds attained in Nature in comparison with 
the mechanical achievements of Alan 



39 6 



NATURAL HISTORY, DECEMBER, 1936 




William B. Whitney 

Tibetan-Lamaist 

Collection 



Drawn by Frank Sv 



William B. Whitney Tibetan-Lamaist 
Collection 



THE Tibetan-Lamaist Collection which 
has been gathered together during the 
last 12 years by William B. Whitney of 
New York City and is soon to be installed in 
the American Museum of Natural History is 
believed to cover the iconography of Lamaism 
more comprehensively than any other collection 
on public exhibition in this country, or, so far 
as is known, in Europe. 

The collection comprises nearly 60 painted 
banners, or t'ang-k'as, approximately 400 
images, a large number of clay bas-reliefs, and 
numerous ritual objects and other articles 
closely associated with Lamaism, altogether 



more than 800 items. The various articles have 
been carefully selected by Mr. Whitney, the 
banners and images especially with reference to 
their religious symbolism. In addition to the 
articles exhibited Mr. Whitney plans to give 
the Museum, whenever a suitable room can be 
provided for reference and study, the more 
than 100 banners and other objects completing 
the collection and a small library of books deal- 
ing especially with the subject. 

The cataloging and installation have been 
carried out according to Mr. Whitney's direc- 
tions by Antoinette K. Gordon, and the Hall 
will be opened to the public December 15th. 

The known history of religion and art 
in Tibet begins with the introduction of 



WILLIAM B. WHITNEY TIBETAN-LAMAIST COLLECTION 



397 




Buddhism in the 7th century. Previous to 
that time the religion of Tibet was a 
form of nature worship, Pon demonolo- 
try, carried on by primitive wizard- 
priests and involving human sacrifices. 
The Buddhist religion was introduced by 
the Chinese princess, Wen-ch'eng and the 
Napalese princess Bhrkuti, both wives of 
the Tibetan king, Sron Tsan Gampo. In 
the 8th century succeeding kings sent to 
India for teachers, among whom Pad- 
masambhava from Nalanda University 
adapted the primitive deities and rites 
of Tibet to Buddhism and thus concil- 
iated the Pon priests. 

In the 17th century the Fifth Grand 
Lama of the Established Church, who 
became the first Dalai Lama, developed 
the idea of the succession by reincarna- 
tion and divine reflexes, which still exists. 

Some of the deities represented in the 
Whitney Collection come from India, 
specifically the Sivaite deities ; others 
from the indigenous Pon religion of 
Tibet. 



(Left) The only feminine divinity 
among the "eight terrible ones" : Sri-devi 
(The Glorious Goddess), a Defender of 
the Faith of Buddhism 



(Below) White savioress: here shown 
in one of her manifestations called "Us- 
nisasitdtatapatrdpardjitd," in which she 
has innumerable eyes all over her body, 
symbolizing her omnipresence. She is 
often called "The Mother of all the 
Buddhas" 



398 



NATURAL HISTORY, DECEMBER, 1936 



(Right) Horoscope: one of several 
methods of divination. The diagram in 
the renter of this amulet box containing 
prayers is a "magic square," each column 
of which adds up to 15 



(Below) SlTA SamvaRA, 'Tutelary 
Deity zuith his consort. Every Lama 
is under protection of a special tute- 
lary. This deity is believed to be in- 
carnate in the Grand Lama of Pekin 

(Lower right) To WORSHIP HER 
brings good luck and destroys all ob- 
stacles: Ekajatd, a form of the Blue 
Tar a 





WILLIAM B. WHITNEY TIBETAN-LAMAIST COLLECTION 



399 




(Right) The primordial buddha or Adi- 
buddha of the Yellow Cap Sect: Vajradhara, 
the supreme power and creator of all things 



(Below) Naro who lives in the heavens: 
Naro kha cho-ina, a ddkini or fairy, who is in- 
voked for the granting of supernatural powers 




tymm£mffi 




.,^5B 


■"5fl| 


L ^mt^B^aP 




Ww'l 








^mfiJA P^ '-^K^^^lKr' 






fe 


^^v «i 












vii^^H 


L --2M 






i'flflpF : . .flBP^^lkl.'-' 


Si 


^T^ 








9 X a 

mi jK 3 




' fl 1 


Bi'fl 


m . >' » sEtf El • 


1 ^^^. 41 I^^I^H 


j^H|^ f'^M '1 




t * J 






>_2hBI 








(Left) A DEMON KING 
;■ .• .. . n_„ • r.L i_ ... 


o/ //if oW F 


3 wwi re- 


(Above) Human-bone apron 
i .J *„ . / / „.. 


These aprons 



ligion: Dor-je lek-pa, who luas subjugated by 
Padmasambhava, the founder of Lamaism 



(Left) Most popular divinity in the north- 
ern Buddhist Pantheon. Avalokitesvara, a form 
of the God of Mercy and Compassion 



and other ornaments of human bones are used 
by the Black-Hat Lamas and sorcerers in their 
necromantic rites. Usually made from the 
bones of criminals, they are considered of espe- 
cially sacred character 

(Beloiv) Detail of intricately carved pen- 
dants of human-bone apron 





(Above) Founder of yellow cap sect, Es- 
tablished Church of Tibet: Tsong-kha-pa 
(1357 A. D.-I4ig A. D.) , a great reformer 
and teacher 



(Above) The only historical buddha 
(within our knowledge) : Sakyamuni, founder 
of Buddhism, who preached his doctrine until 
about 543 B. C. Disciples incorporated his 
teachings thereafter 



(Right) Wheel of transmigration, sym- 
bolic of the six regions of rebirth and the 
twelve reasons for rebirth 

(Below) A relic of the primitive Pbn 
religion: the Brown Yak-Headed God- 
dess one of the Bardo goddesses who ap- 
pear in the After Death State I 





The Story of Domestic Animals 
in America 

Nearly all the animals vital to the growth of this continent, 
from the sheep to Jefferson *Davis's camel corps, were importations 



By George G. Goodwin 

Assistant Curator of Mammals, 
American Museum 

IT is no secret that such "zoo" animals as 
the lion and the tiger are not native to 
North America and probably never were. 
That is common knowledge. 

What few of us realize is, that nearly all of 
our "native" domestic animals are not natives 
of this continent at all, but are among the 
many things imported into the country by our 
far-sighted forebears who saw a need for them 
in the expanding commonwealth. 

These animal importations have played so 
great a role in the building of the United 
States, that they have grown up as part and 
parcel of the country. They are "taken for 
granted." Yet, we repeat, they are importa- 
tions, and we will herein attempt to tell the 
tale of how they were brought to these shores. 

Native animals 

It is unfortunate that the first Europeans to 
reach America were the rather incurious Span- 
ish, thirsty for gold, who made few intelligent 
observations of living methods among the 
American Indians. But this we know, that the 
Indians had only three domestic animals of any 
importance : the dog, the turkey, and the llama. 
The great prairies of the American interior 
teemed with herds of buffalo, elk, antelope; 
and the forests and mountains supported great 
numbers of mountain sheep, goat, and moose. 
Countless numbers of caribou and herds of 
musk oxen thrived in the vast barren lands of 
the Arctic. Yet, in spite of this lavish abun- 
dance there was not in all North America, 
from the Arctic to Panama, one single race of 
animals that was suitable for domestication. 

The red men traveled on foot or by canoe. 



Nomadic, wandering tribes though they were, 
they possessed no beasts of burden, no horses 
or domesticated cattle, and they made no at- 
tempt to harness the tremendous power of the 
buffalo. There is no indication that they even 
went so far as to take milk from any of the 
native animals. True, the American Indians 
did have a dog, the history of which is rather 
obscure, which was sometimes made to drag 
the travois, a primitive wheelless luggage 
frame, and in the sparsely inhabited Arctic the 
sledge dog was a necessity. But the chief service 
of the dog to the red man was as a companion 
or pet, not as an economic asset. 

It must not be supposed that it was through 
lack of intelligence or ability on the part of the 
red man that he failed to utilize the native 
animals as beasts of burden. After the intro- 
duction of horses it was not long before the 
Indians were hunting and fighting on horse- 
back. A conspicuous feature in the reminis- 
cences of the early settlers is usually the hostile 
Indian braves on their piebald ponies. In fact, 
it is hard to picture the Indians without their 
horses. 

First cattle 

No trace of a native race of cattle of any 
type has been found in North America. Colum- 
bus, on his second voyage, apparently brought 
the first cattle to America in 1493. The first 
reliable record on the introduction of cattle into 
the mainland of America is in a report found 
in the Spanish Archives at Madrid. It states 
that Gregorio Villalobos, in 1 52 1, brought a 
number of calves from Santo Domingo to 
Mexico, landing them near the town of Vera 
Cruz. These were descendants of the cattle 
brought from Spain to the West Indies in the 
years immediately following the voyage of 
Columbus. 



THE STORY OF DOMESTIC ANIMALS IN AMERICA 



403 



The Texas long horn, once so spectacular in 
the Southern states and Mexico, originated 
from a type found in Spain in the 16th cen- 
tury. They were rather small, of a light brown 
or dark jersey color, neither good beef animals 
nor suitable for dairy products. Their hardi- 
ness and ability to thrive under barren condi- 
tions were their chief recommendations. 

When stabilization of the United States 
Government several decades later encouraged 
the importation of long horn breeding stock 
into Texas, it did not improve the status of 
the long horn. After i860 the Hereford rapidly 
and completely displaced the Texas long horn 
on our Western ranges. Today the Texas stock 
has undergone considerable change owing, curi- 
ously enough, to the infusion of a breed from 
India. 

Zebu blood 

The humped cattle of India, known as the 
Zebu, domesticated in Asia about 4000 B. C, 
was introduced in South Carolina in 1849 on 
account of its ability to resist disease, parasites, 
heat and drought. A few years later it reached 
South Texas, where it proved its value for 
crossing with the cattle of western Europe 
breeding. Now much of the Texas stock con- 
tains Zebu blood. They are commonly called 
Brahmans. 

Hogs were brought into the new continent 
as early as 1525 by the Portuguese who in that 
year landed some on Cape Breton Island. 
From here they soon spread to Newfoundland 
and the mainland. They appeared to have 
thrived, for 13 years later, Mendoza, in re- 
porting to his sovereign, referred to the favor- 
able condition of his cattle, horses, and merino 
sheep, which he had imported from Spain. The 
sheep, he said, had been prolific. 

The story of the horse in America is one of 
the most stirring. The Spanish conqueror Cor- 
tez who in 15 19 brought the first horses that 
ever set foot in the New World had only 16 of 
the animals when he landed at the mouth of 
the Rio Panuco, and he probably never had as 
many as 100 during the conquest. Yet the ap- 
pearance of man mounted on four footed ani- 
mals struck the Indians with such dread and 
the handful of cavalry were so effective 
against the Indian foot soldiers, that the horse 
was one of the foremost factors in the conquest 
of the greatest Indian nations. 

The great Spanish expeditions that explored 



the southern parts of the United States were 
well equipped with horses. While the date of 
the origin of horse culture among the Indians 
is speculative, its limits, according to Dr. Clark 
Wissler, are clearly defined. The horse cannot 
have reached the Indians before the 1 6th cen- 
tury and we find it in the Far North in 175 1. 

Wild horses 

In 1 54 1 De Soto carried some of his horses 
across the Mississippi, and it is generally as- 
sumed that the horses abandoned by his men in 
that year were the nucleus of the wild horses 
later found west of the lower Mississippi. 
About the same time Coronado reached the 
present bounds of Oklahoma from Sante Fe, 
and Ornate is believed to have visited the 
Pawnee and Kansas in 1599 to 1601. From 
Coronado's time on there was a growing trade 
with the Indians of the Gulf Coast; and, be- 
ginning about 1600, trade with the interior 
with Sante Fe as a base. The Indians of the 
plains, especially the Pawnee, were so trouble- 
some in their plundering raids for horses that a 
post was established in Kansas about 1704. It 
is clear, says Wissler, that the Indians below 
the Platte and lower Missouri were well sup- 
plied with horses by 1682, and there is no rea- 
son why many of them should not have had 
horses as early as 1600. 

If the dates for the first mention of horses 
are tabulated, we have a progressive series 
northward, beginning with 1682 below the 
Platte and culminating on the Saskatchewan 
in 1751. In every case, however, we can assume 
an earlier date for their introduction. 

From the very first the Spaniards were great 
importers of horses and other domestic animals. 
In this respect they stand in contrast to the 
French of Canada, where the first horse was 
imported in 1647. 

The English colonists imported horses early 
but moderately, except among the cavalier ele- 
ment in Virginia. The first horses imported by 
the New England colonies came in 1629. 
Horses spread among the Indians of the At- 
lantic slope, but it was only in the south that 
they were numerous. 

It seems clear, therefore, that the Spaniards 
must be credited with the introduction of the 
horse to the Indians of the plains and the 
lower Mississippi, both east and west; the 
greater number of horses must have come from 



404 



NATURAL HISTORY, DECEMBER, 1 93 6 



their settlements in the southwest and Mexico. 
One of the most extraordinary stories in 
connection with the introduction of domestic 
animals into the United States is that of the 
camel. So far as most citizens are concerned 
the American habitat of the camel is the zoo- 
logical park. Few realize that this odd look- 
ing creature came close to establishing himself 
as an accredited member of the American ani- 
mal kingdom. 

For desert warfare 

A formidable danger to small frontier garri- 
sons and settlements in the southwest was the 
hostile Indians of the region. Their sudden at- 
tacks could not be repulsed by the foot soldiers 
and cavalry, and their fast ponies easily escaped 
into the desert where it was impossible to fol- 
low them. Furthermore it was impossible to 
transport army supplies through the rough and 
arid country with horses and pack mules. Thus, 
reasoning no doubt that in a desert country the 
ways of the desert tribes of Asia with their 
swift moving camels could be adopted, Con- 
gress in 1855 appropriated $30,000 to enable 
Jefferson Davis with Major Henry Constan- 
tine Wayne and Lieutenant Davis D. Porter 
of the Navy as leaders to go to Asia for the 
purpose of securing camels. Wayne went to 
England and then France seeking information 
on the treatment of these animals. He con- 
sulted French officers who had used the camel 
in Algeria, and the details derived from them 
led him to believe that the Asiatic camels 
would be more suitable in the American cli- 
mate than the African camels. 

Porter, in command of the store ship Supply, 
proceeded to the Mediterranean to meet 
Wayne at Spezzia. En route he inspected the 
camels belonging to the Duke of Tuscany at 
Pisa, a herd descended from Egyptian stock 
which had been used in Italy for 200 years. 
But he concluded that these animals were not 
suitable for his purpose. Accompanied by 
Wayne he went on to Tunis, where Moham- 
med Bey gave them two camels. These they 
kept on board to study the habits, ailments, 
and care of the animals. 

The next stop was at Smyrna, where they 
found some fine burden camels, but no drome- 
daries of the type Davis needed for chasing the 
Indians. 

At Salonica, no camels were to be seen ; all 
had been commandeered for use in the Crimean 



War, then raging. Wayne and Porter pressed 
on to Constantinople, and thence to the 
Crimea, to see what use was being made of the 
camels in the war. At Constantinople Wayne 
was disappointed. All the camels available were 
worthless. The Sultan sent far into the interior 
for good ones to give them, but Wayne, anx- 
ious to go to Egypt, did not wait for them to 
be brought to Constantinople. 

The Supply then sailed for Alexandria. 
Wayne arrived at Cairo in search of a permit 
to export dromedaries. Permission was, at first, 
only granted for two, but it was later extended 
to five. The Viceroy notified him that he would 
make a present of six camels to the United 
States, but Porter, on examining the animals 
offered, found them diseased and refused the 
gift. The Viceroy laid the blame on his servants 
and six good dromedaries were substituted. 
These, with three others, were all that were 
shipped here. They then returned to Smyrna 
to complete the cargo. 

On February 15th the Supply set her course 
for America, carrying a cargo of 33 camels: 9 
dromedaries from Egypt, 20 Arabian burden 
camels, one young Arabian camel, two Bac- 
trian, one Booghdee or Tuilu. (Wayne defined 
the Bactrian as the two-humped animal, the 
Arabian as the one-humped and the "drome- 
dary" was merely a swift Arabian, not a bur- 
den animal, the Booghdee or Tuilu as cross 
breds.) 

The health of the camels 

Two Turks, one a doctor, and three Arabs 
were brought along to look after the animals. 
Some of the Turk doctor's prescriptions were 
recorded by Porter as follows: for a cold give 
the camel a piece of cheese; for swollen legs, 
tea and gunpowder ; for skin diseases, cauterize 
with a redhot iron. One extraordinary remedy 
for some ailments was to boil a young sheep in 
molasses and to administer half the boiling 
mixture down the unfortunate creature's 
throat; and for other complaints, tickle the 
camel's nose with a chameleon's tail. The re- 
turn trip lasted three months. During rough 
weather each animal had to be strapped to the 
deck to prevent it from falling and injuring 
itself. 

On April 29, 1856, the Supply reached 
Paso Cavallo, off Indianola, but the sea was 
too rough to make a landing, and Porter then 
sailed to Belize and there on May 10th trans- 



THE STORY OF DOMESTIC ANIMALS IN AMERICA 



405 



ferred the animals to the Steamer Fashion un- 
der Major Wayne. Four days later they were 
landed at Powder Point, three miles below 
Indianola. 

On November 14th, the Supply again set 
sail for Texas with forty-four animals — two 
Bactrian males; three Arabian males; two 
Tuilu, cross breds; and thirty-seven Arabian 
females. 

At the end of 1856, Davis reported that in 
his opinion the experiment was a success. Secre- 
tary Floyd, who succeeded Davis, was con- 
vinced of the usefulness of camels on the 
western plains, and in December, 1858, he 
recommended that 1000 be purchased. 

The success of the War Department induced 
others to import camels. In 1858 a British 
vessel brought two cargoes of camels for Mrs. 
Watson of Houston, Texas. In 1861 a San 
Francisco Company imported 20 Bactrian ca- 
mels for use in transporting salt in Nevada. 

It was in 1861, according to W. M. Davis, 
Secretary of the Nevada Highway Association, 
that camel transportation was put into practice 
in Nevada. The camels were a portion of a 
herd of Bactrian camels imported to carry 
supplies to army posts in the arid regions. 

Look on an old map of the State of Nevada 
and you will find a section to the south and 
east of Dayton marked as "Camel Flat." Other 
maps give the name as "Campbell Flat." The 
first-named is the proper description, as this is 
the place where the camels were herded. These 
camels were used in the transportation of salt 
across the desert from Churchill County, in the 
vicinity of San Springs, to the mining camps of 
Austin and Virginia City, where immense 
amounts of salt were used in the treatment of 
ores by the chlorination process. Some of the 
camels were used near Virginia City as late as 
1876. 

Camels prohibited at large 

This method of transportation did not prove 
a success, and the animals were soon turned 
adrift, but not before the legislature of the 
State of Nevada had passed an act prohibiting 
camels from running at large upon the high- 
ways. This was in 1875. In July of that year a 
letter written by Colonel Philip Reade states 
that he saw a herd of wild camels near Oat- 
man's Flat on the Gila River. A prospector re- 
ported in 1925 that he had seen one of these 
animals ten or fifteen years previously in a 

406 



wild portion of the state at about dusk, and 
had the scare of his life at the appearance of 
the unexpected beast. 

When the United States forces left Texas 
in 1 86 1, the camels fell into the hands of the 
Confederates, who made little use of them and 
spent little care upon them. They were turned 
loose to graze, and some wandered away. The 
stray camels were heard of occasionally, 
stampeding horses and ravaging fields, and 
some were killed and eaten by the Indians. 

The last of the camels 

Indeed, the last of the wild camels in Amer- 
ica met his death in Yuma in 1899, and was 
eaten by the Indians. The Evening Star states, 
"The venerable beast was one of the herd of 
camels brought from Asia Minor years ago to 
carry ore from Comstock mines. So ends the 
greatest attempt at acclimating foreign animals 
ever made in the United States." 

Another animal which, like the camel, was 
imported by Congressional appropriation, is 
the reindeer. In northern sections of Europe 
and Asia the reindeer had been used as a do- 
mestic animal for many generations, but in 
Arctic America the natives depended upon the 
wild caribou whose movements were sometimes 
erratic and whose numbers were subject to 
fluctuation. Especially the introduction of mod- 
ern firearms threatened the adequacy of the 
wild herds upon which the natives were de- 
pendent. It was Dr. Sheldon Jackson who on 
an inspection trip to Alaska in 1890 was prin- 
cipally impressed by the rapidly vanishing 
sources of food among the Eskimos. Not only 
was their natural source of food disappearing 
but what in an Arctic climate is equally im- 
portant, their clothing as well. Dr. Jackson 
saw that the United States would soon have to 
choose between feeding these natives or allow- 
ing them to starve to death. 

The solution which he proposed involved 
the importation of domestic reindeer upon 
which the natives could fall back when wild 
game became scarce, just as their Siberian 
neighbors were doing across the Bering Strait ; 
and in 1891 he asked Congress for an ap- 
propriation. Congress was not convinced of 
the wisdom of this project. Private individuals, 
however, were interested and placed $2000 at 
Jackson's disposal for the experiment, and the 
first shipment of reindeer, consisting of 162 

NATURAL HISTORY, DECEMBER, 1 936 



head, was landed at Teller, Alaska, in 1892, 
not far south of Bering Strait. It was not long, 
however, before the government was convinced 
of the importance of this project. During the 
following decade 11 18 more reindeer from 
Siberia landed on the shore of St. Clarence 
Bay. 

An emergency effort in the winter of 1897- 
98 had a less fortunate outcome. Rumors 
reached Washington in December, 1897, 'hat 
American miners in the Yukon Valley were 
faced with starvation. Congress commissioned 
Dr. Sheldon Jackson to visit Norway and 
Sweden for the purpose of purchasing 500 
reindeer with sleds, harness and drivers to haul 
supplies to the destitute miners. Jackson ar- 
rived in Europe the following year and pur- 
chased 526 reindeer, secured the services of 68 
Lapp drivers, and sailed for New York. Only 
one animal died on the voyage of 24 days, 
though the trip was rough and the deer were 
quartered in open pens on deck. At New York 
special trains conveyed them across the con- 
tinent to Seattle without loss of a single ani- 
mal. Their troubles began, however, when the 
moss brought from Norway was exhausted. 
There was a delay in securing transportation 
to the head of Lynn Canal and further delays 
when they arrived there. Nearly 300 of the 
reindeer died of starvation before the moss 
fields at the head of the Chilkat River were 
reached. The remaining 200 animals were too 
weakened to endure the journey to the Yukon 
Valley and the trip was abandoned. The whole 
herd eventually died, leaving no progeny. 



The project of importing domestic herds, 
however, succeeded admirably. The deer 
thrived and increased in numbers. Other herds 
were formed, and today the barren wastes 
fronting the Arctic Ocean support vast herds. 
It is estimated that considerably more than 
100,000 animals have been killed for food and 
clothing, and the crisis which threatened the 
natives has been averted. The Alaskan reindeer 
industry is now firmly established and its im- 
portance to the people of the Far North is 
greater than that of the great herds of stock 



on the western plains to the people of the 
United States. 

The musk ox 

Latest, but we hope not last, of our im- 
ported animals is the musk ox. His is not, how- 
ever, a true importation; it is rather a home- 
coming, for the musk ox roamed the ranges of 
northern Alaska in ample numbers until their 
extermination about a century ago. On Septem- 
ber 15, 1930, a herd of 34 young musk oxen 
arrived in New York on the Norwegian-Amer- 
ica Line ship Bergensvjord. They had come 
from Greenland via Norway, and were des- 
tined to continue their journey to Fairbanks, 
Alaska, where it was hoped they would re- 
plenish the land with animal life suited to the 
rigors of the climate. 

At Fairbanks a large enclosure provided 
conditions simulating the natural wild range 
of musk oxen. The purpose was to study the 
possibilities of domestication and breeding, 
with a view to making greater economic use of 
areas north of timberline. 

This experiment represents perhaps the most 
recent attempt at transplanting and domesti- 
cating an animal. 

Each attempt, it cannot be denied, served its 
purpose. The camel died out rather rapidly, 
and the Texas long horn has passed from the 
scene to be replaced by a breed more suitable 
to a prospering cattle industry. Yet, the camel 
fulfilled his appointed task. He kept faith with 
those who launched the bold experiment of his 
importation, and the long horn tided the early 
cowmen over a trying period. 

These cases of transplanting are not the first 
instances in history where man has bettered his 
condition and derived impetus for his projects 
by the intelligent use of the beasts of the field 
— nor do we believe they will be the last. Man 
must, however, have an exact knowledge of the 
animals and their environment to carry out 
measures that will be to his advantage. If based 
on misinformation, his schemes will go awry, 
and result only in much needless waste and 
cruelty. It is, in part, to perform this service 
for mankind that the science of mammalogy 
exists today — constantly furthering the fron- 
tiers of its knowledge. 



THE STORY OF DOMESTIC ANIMALS IN AMERICA 



407 



White-lipped Peccary 

This distinguished and generally feared inhabitant of 
tropical American forests becomes a near neighbor of the natural- 
ists on Barro Colorado Island 



By Frank M. Chapman 

Curator of Birds, 
American Museum of Natural History 

I had passed five winters on Barro Colo- 
rado Island in the Canal Zone before I 
saw a white-lipped peccary — locally called 
"Puerco del Monte." The setting was appro- 
priate to the occasion. It was late on the after- 
noon of March 24, 1 93 1, on a remote, rarely 
visited part of the Zetek Trail. The ground 
falls here to make a basin-like amphitheatre set 
with large trees but with almost no under- 
growth; a theatrical kind of place. A light 
rain was falling, there was no air moving, and 
the forest had already assumed the impressive 
possibilities of night. 

Just as I reached the rim of the depression 
the animals made a stage entrance from be- 
neath the trunk of a partly fallen large tree at 
the right. For a moment I was unable to name 
them. They seemed much larger than I had ex- 
pected them to be ; and far more impressive 
than the familiar collared peccary. 

A procession 

They were traveling in single file and were 
headed in my direction. I counted seven emerge 
from beneath the tree and there were evi- 
dently others following. Except for a short 
belt knife I was unarmed. In any event, I was 
not keen for a closer acquaintance with an 
animal of el puerco del monte's reputation at 
such short notice. I looked about me for a low- 
limbed tree but this was not an apple orchard, 
and a tangle of dripping lianes some fifty feet 
back on the trail was the only climbable thing 
nearby. Toward them I gently retreated, so 



gently that I almost stepped on a peccary who 
appeared to have been asleep in the lower 
growth. Although his reactions were the more 
obvious to ear and eye, I think that mine were 
more profound, for at the moment I was 
peccary-conscious and better prepared to re- 
spond. Fortunately, he was sufficiently fright- 
ened to retire, for his resting-place was between 
me and the vines which promised safety. 

On closer acquaintance these seemed less 
scalable than at a distance and I decided to 
defer my ascent until I saw the head of the 
peccary procession appear above the border of 
the basin. 

A quiet departure 

Several minutes passed; nothing happened 
and as I cautiously returned to my former 
lookout, the last member of the peccary file 
was disappearing to the left. How many had 
preceded him I do not know. I was not sorry 
to see them depart and sat down on a log by 
the trailside to enjoy the impressions created 
by this long-anticipated experience. 

In his life histories of Barro Colorado mam- 
mals 1 Enders writes of the white-lipped pec- 
cary : "This is the only mammal of the Island 
that can, by any stretch of the imagination, 
be considered dangerous, and then only under 
circumstances which are seldom met." As far 
as Barro Colorado is concerned our twelve 
years' occupancy certainly warrants this state- 
ment, for in only one season during this period 
has el puerco del monte played a sufficiently 
prominent part in our lives to win the consid- 
eration that history accords him. 

1 Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool., Vol. 78, No. 4, 1935, p. 477. 



NATURAL HISTORY, DECEMBER, 1 936 



Of this later, meanwhile our interest in this 
fellow member of our fauna will be increased 
if we recall the respect in which he is held by 
those who know him best. 

Sixto Arroyo, or "Mex," a local hunter of 
wide and high repute, from whom, while our 
guest on the island, we learned much concern- 
ing our mammalian fauna, summed up his 
general estimate of the white-lipped peccary 
by saying that "it is always better to leave 
them alone." In a measure both jaguar and 
puma, he stated, follow this method, for 
neither one nor the other will attempt to make 
a "kill" in a body of peccaries but attack only 
a single animal or the last one in a passing 
file. Perhaps for this reason the members of 
bands attempt to remain closely associated 
and, when separated, circle about until they 
are reunited. It is this herding habit, added to 
its individual aggressiveness and courage, that 
has won for the white-lipped peccary its place 
as Public Enemy No. I among the mammals 
of tropical America. 

Two kinds of peccaries 

When one reads, or hears of hunters who 
have been treed by peccaries he may be sure 
that the white-lipped peccary was at the base 
of the tree. The collared peccary, the other 
species of this American group, is a smaller, 
less pugnacious animal which on the island 
rarely gathers in bands that exceed eight or 
ten in number. In my experience the collared 
peccary is diurnal rather than nocturnal, is 
more evenly distributed and probably more 
numerous than the white-lipped peccary. For 
these reasons, of the two, he is far more fre- 
quently seen. As I have said, I had been on 
the island five winters, approximately twenty 
months, before I encountered a white-lipped 
peccary, whereas it is a common experience to 
meet the collared peccary in almost any part 
of the island. Nevertheless, one always reports 
the meeting, for after all a peccary is a peccary 
and until the identification is definite the pos- 
sibilities of the situation are pleasantly empha- 
sized by attributing to every peccary the habits 
of the white-lipped. 

Once the two peccaries have been seen, and 
their characters noted, they may thereafter 
easily be distinguished. The white-lipped is 
notably larger, has coarser, sparser hair and a 
whitish band on the lower jaw beneath the 



eye, from which it is separated by a blackish 
area. The collared, in addition to its smaller 
size, is sleeker, more finely and thickly haired, 
and bears its name-mark as a narrow, rather 
indistinct band around the body in advance of 
the forelegs. The presence, or recent passage 
of either species to windward, is often be- 
trayed by the musky odor emitted by the dor- 
sal gland ; this is much stronger in the larger 
species. Enders speaks of it as "rather pleas- 
ant" "when not too concentrated" in the col- 
lared, but as a "stench" in the white-lipped 
peccary. 

Although, on the island, the collared is 
doubtless the more common of the two species, 
the difference in their numbers is by no means 
to be measured by the comparative frequency 
with which they are seen. 

My camera flashlight-traps, set on our trails 
through the forest, by day as well as night, 
have captured more white-lipped than collared 
peccaries. Possibly this is due to the former's 
apparent preference for our trails while the 
latter use paths of their own making. Or, the 
collared peccary, traveling chiefly by day, may 
see and avoid the trip-wire stretched across 
the trail which, to the more nocturnal white- 
lipped, is not visible. I have, however, small 
belief in this theory. Pumas and ocelots, photo- 
graphed at night, apparently see the fine hair 
wire connected with the flashlight batteries, 
for invariably they attempt to step over it, but 
a peccary makes no effort to avoid the wire 
and butts into it head on. 

Wallowing 

The shallow, bowl-like depression on the 
Zetek Trail, where, as related, I first met the 
white-lipped peccary, proved to be one of their 
headquarters on the island. It had evidently 
been formed by subterranean drainage which 
found current expression in a fissure about ten 
feet deep and as many wide at the bottom of 
the bowl. Here, even in the heart of the dry 
season, there were evidences of water. Here 
the peccaries came to wallow with results that 
suggested a barnyard rather than the heart of 
a primeval forest. In vain I tried to secure 
flashlights of the scenes which it was obvious 
must be enacted at this place. Luck was against 
me and the season ended without a satisfac- 
tory exposure. The following year the little 
barranca was dry. 

My many visits by day to this place showed 



WHITE-LIPPED PECCARY 



409 



that it was occupied nightly by the mud- 
bathing peccaries, but, except on the occasion 
mentioned, I never saw one there. Neverthe- 
less, we have the report of our then headman, 
Donato, whose word we never had occasion 
to doubt, that in August, 1927, white-lipped 
peccaries gathered in large numbers on the 
Lutz Trail below the laboratory and its con- 
nection with the entrance to the Snyder- 
Molino Trail. Even if we discount the usually 
conservative Donato's estimate of "five hun- 
dred," it is clear from his statement of the 
ground they occupied that a surprising num- 
ber of animals had assembled. It is well known 
that white-lipped peccaries gather in large 
bodies but the relation of this habit to their 
annual life cycle is apparently unknown. Pos- 
sibly it is in some way connected with their 
mating period. 

Rarely seen 

Although Donato's observation has not been 
repeated, a similar phenomenon might readily 
occur in the more remote parts of the island 
without our being aware of it. Four thousand 
acres of densely forested, hilly, barranca- 
seamed land will conceal many forms of wild 
life. During my nine seasons on the island 
I have yet to see either a tapir or ocelot there, 
and on only two occasions have I met a puma, 
though we have reason to believe that all 
three are not uncommon. Indeed, notwith- 
standing its proved abundance, in only one 
season since the spring of 193 1 have I seen el 
puerco del monte. Then it violated every law 
concerning its habits that experience had 
prompted us to formulate. The instance ad- 
mirably illustrates, not alone the island's at- 
traction, but also its value as an observation 
post. Year after year, as we return to continue 
our studies of its undisturbed life, we find how 
inadequate and misleading is most recorded 
knowledge of tropical wild-life based on 
casual or intermittent observations. Certainly, 
during the season of 1931-32 we had reason 
to change our previously formed beliefs con- 
cerning the habits of the larger of the two 
peccaries. Returning to Panama on December 
2, of the first-named year, I found that the 
most surprising fact in the news budget that 
Donato delivered as we crossed from Frijoles 
to the island, reported the daily presence of 
el puerco del monte in our home clearing. It 
was midday, the rest-period for bird and beast, 



but as the launch slid quietly up to our pier 
Donato proved his statement by pointing to a 
small band of white-lipped peccaries grazing 
in the banana plantation on the north slope 
of the nearby barranca. 

Too interested to do more than watch them, 
when I decided that the season's activities 
might as well begin at once, I found that my 
luggage was already on its tramward way to 
the laboratory. Hurriedly I followed it up the 
196 steps to its destination, extracted 84x5 
"Graflex," and returned to the barranca. 
Then I discovered that a colleague, already 
in residence, was attempting to film these dis- 
tinguished visitors in our garden. Without 
attempt at concealment he slowly approached 
them up the steep, grassy hillside. The motion- 
camera at his eye so restricted his field of 
vision he was not aware that he, also, was 
being stalked until a charging peccary struck 
him above the knee. Fortunately, under the 
force of the blow, he lost his footing, slid 
down the bank and was thus removed from 
the danger of further attack. Under the cir- 
cumstances, I did not envy him an experience 
which would have been a little strenuous for 
the first ten minutes of one's return to the 
field. In place of peccaries I devoted myself, 
therefore, to photographing Swainson's and 
Ari-cari toucans from beneath the revised 
"Shannon Shack." The birds were visiting a 
nearby papaya to feed on the growing fruit 
which proved to have been softened by the 
attack of a fruit-fly. Here was a second novel 
observation and I had not yet been home, so 
to speak, long enough to remove my hat. 

Failure of food supply 

This was my first day of what proved to be 
a peccary winter. Unusually heavy rains at 
critical periods during the preceding wet sea- 
son had apparently prevented the fruiting of 
certain trees that supply peccaries and other 
animals with food. The rainfall for the year 
was 123.30 and for November 30.84 inches, 
of which 23.82 inches fell between the sixth 
and tenth of the month. But, whatever the 
cause, there appeared to be an undoubted lack 
of forest food. Almendro nuts, for example, a 
favorite fare of peccaries, were almost entirely 
lacking. These animals, therefore, were evi- 
dently forced to range far for food and to 
hunt by day as well as by night. That they 



410 



NATURAL HISTORY, DECEMBER, 1 936 



suffered for lack of nourishment is indicated 
by the accompanying flashlight of a white- 
lipped peccary secured near Fucrtes' House 
where the species had not been before re- 
corded. Compared with earlier pictures, made 
during seasons of plenty, this animal appears 
to be on the verge of starvation. 

It was doubtless this failure of the normal 
food supply that induced these inhabitants of 
the wilder parts of the island to visit our clear- 
ing to graze on the grasses and grub up our 
root crops. A young boar and two sows, prob- 
ably members of the band I saw the day of 
my arrival, attached themselves to the imme- 
diate vicinity of the laboratory, where their 
presence added in no small degree to our in- 
terest in the local fauna. They made their 
headquarters in the shade of a bread fruit tree 
where the discharge from a waste-pipe sup- 
plied conditions for what looked like an ideal 
wallow. A foot-path passed nearby but to 
avoid disturbing our guests it was not used 
while they were bathing. 

On one occasion, at noon, I attempted to 
make a close up, tripod picture of the trio at 
rest here, but the male started toward me 
with so evident a determination to prevent 
this intrusion on his family life that I de- 
serted my camera. The photograph was se- 
cured, however, later in the day. 

Feared by other animals 

Two native, semi-domesticated members of 
our household showed a pronounced and evi- 
dently instinctive fear of these peccaries. One, 
an adult male curassow (Crax) , was intensely 
excited by their proximity to his quarters, 
even though he could perch far above their 
reach. The other, a usually fearless, mature 
white-tailed doe, exhibited paroxysms of fright 
when her nose warned her that a peccary was 
nearby. Springing to the ceiling of her 8-foot 
high cage she rebounded to its cement floor 
with a violence that threatened to break her 
back. Always we rushed to her rescue. 

Unless el puerco del monte is at times pred- 
atory it is difficult to explain the fear he 
aroused in these, his forest-mates. An observa- 
tion made early on the morning of February 
i, 1932, seems pertinent. At that time I heard 
a peccary, probably one of our trio, with whose 
voices we had become familiar, surprise some 
creature in the dense growth of the adjoining 



woods. What followed was typical of many 
unseen tragedies of a tropical forest — a short 
chase, capture, agonized scream^ silence. 1 
was unable to find the victim. 

Returning with my bearer Miguel from a 
camera tapir-hunt on the morning of January 
31, 1932, I found two of our peccary visitor- 
grazing on the hand's-breadth of grass be- 
tween my doorstep and the forest. Assuming 
that they would retreat I advanced confi- 
dently. But the boar was not disposed to 
recognize my right of way. With dorsal 
bristles erect and champing loudly lie not 
alone held his ground but advanced to the 
attack. Armed only with a butterfly net I, 
therefore, conceded the post of honor to 
Miguel, who, besides a Nesbit camera, car- 
ried the usual machete. Concealing his elation 
at our change of positions Miguel, shouting 
loudly, waved his weapon valiantly and when 
we were at a distance of about ten feet the 
peccary reluctantly gave way and permitted 
me to enter my house. But when, less than 
three minutes later, I emerged to descend to 
the laboratory for a shower, the peccaries had 
returned and were again prepared to dispute 
my passage. With no Miguel to call on I 
tossed an empty bottle at the boar. It landed 
squarely on his nose. He jumped a bit but 
apparently was neither hurt nor surprised and 
came back at once to smell of the bottle. Then, 
indeed, there was a reaction. With a great 
chomp and squeal he sprang back so suddenly 
that he knocked the female behind him com- 
pletely over and continued on his flight to the 
forest. The bottle, I should add, had con- 
tained only water and it seemed evident that 
the animal had recoiled from the scent of my 
hand. 

Not permanent visitors 

If thus we were at times somewhat incon- 
venienced by the actions of our nonconformist 
guests, we realized that their presence offered 
us an exceptional opportunity to live on more 
or less intimate terms with animals which, as 
a rule, man encounters only to kill. Pursuant 
to Barro Colorado's hospitable custom we, 
therefore, tried to meet them on their terms 
with the hope of establishing relations that 
would be mutually acceptable. But they have 
never returned, and life about the laboratory 
now lacks an element of uncertainty that 
added not a little to its charm. 



WHITE-LIPPED PECCARY 



411 




Five winters had passed on Barro Colorado 
Island in the Canal Zone before Doctor 
Chapman caught a glimpse of this interesting 
animal. Unusual circumstances offered the 



opportunity to live on more or less intimate 
terms with a creature which man usually en- 
counters only to kill 



White-lipped Peccary 



Self-made flashlight 
photograph. Failure of the 
forest food crop apparently 
brought the peccaries to the 
half-starved condition shown 
by the animal in this photo- 
graph 




412 



NATURAL HISTORY, DECEMBER, I936 



(Right) Less pugnacioi s than 

the white-lipped peccary is the col- 
lared peccary. Lacking the whitish 
band on the lower jaw of its larger 
cousin, the collared variety pos- 
sesses an indistinct hand around 
the body in advance of the fore- 
legs, visible on the right-hand 
animal 



Collared 

Peccaries 



A COLLARED PECCARY Oil the 

Wheeler Trail near an almendro 
tree, the nuts of which are a fa- 
vorite food of this animal. Note 
the sleek coat as compared with 
that of the white-lipped peccary 
opposite 





A band OF Six collared pec- 
caries feeding on a hillside. 
The white-lipped peccary is 
more nocturnal in its habits, 
and probably not so numerous 
which accounts for his being 
less frequently observed 



WHITE-LIPPED PECCARY 



413 



Andorra, a Country in the Past 

On the border of Spain, where revolution is disrupting 
the ancient order, one of the world's smallest countries clings to 
medieval ways 



By Lawrence Fernsworth 

Correspondent of "The London Times" 
Drawings by Agnes C. Lehman 

Follow me up the valley of the Valira 
del Nord through tiny independent 
Andorra. This scrap of a country, hid- 
ing back in the Pyrenees between France and 
Spain, is like a sample clipped out of the 
Middle Ages and transplanted in the modern 
world. 

I reach the last cluster of houses in the 
valley. This is the cortals or high mountain 
village of Llo Serrat, a small settlement that 
will be deserted in winter. The crude black 
buildings seem to cling to the rock like so 
many barnacles. Smoke is coming from the 
cabana, and I knock at the door. The boy who 
opens it looks startled, but he greets me with 
an engagingly frank smile and bids me enter. 

He was clad in a rough shirt and corduroy 
pants which came high up his waist. In a few 
moments he was joined by two younger 
brothers who came running from the barn. I 
broke two eggs and fried them over the fire 
for my breakfast. The boys sat eyeing me 
shyly. Occasionally the oldest passed me his 
wine bag. I handed them some cakes which 
they devoured. 

First citizen 

Finally my young host spoke. He told me 
that he lived here all the year round except 
during December and January when the snow 
was too deep and the cold too bitter. His task 
was to look after the mule herds and keep an 
eye on the cortals. Two or three months of 
this period he was almost always alone. I told 



him that he was the batlle or mayor. All three 
laughed. 

Before departing I asked him for my bill. 
"Two dollars," said my host. I had told him 
that I was an American and he seemed to 
know that Americans used dollars. "But how 
much in pesetas'?" I asked. "Two pesetas}' he 
replied. Encouraged by this favorable rate of 
exchange, two pesetas being twenty cents, I 
decided to take another plunge into the Llo 
Serrat money market, so I inquired the price 
in francs. "Two francs," was the snappy quota- 
tion, which was about eight cents. I struck an 
equitable balance. But I shuddered to think 
what might happen to some Englishman who 
might be charged in pounds and not have the 
happy thought of playing for a more favorable 
exchange. 

hiving in the long ago 

Andorra is the last of Europe's feudal states. 
It claims Charlemagne as its "Great Father" 
and the author of its liberties. While the rest 
of the world has been moving forward, it has 
been clinging to the ways of another age, so 
that entering there and beholding its strange 
customs is like making a journey into a tight 
little world of long ago. 

Andorra is a land of sharp towering moun- 
tains, of high grazing plateaus, of deep green 
valleys, and of rugged gorges through which 
angry waters are forever pounding. It slopes 
down toward Spain into which it has a natu- 
ral gateway near La Seo de Urgel. The coun- 
try has two valleys, each traversed by a river : 
the Valira del Nord and the Valira del Orient. 
These valleys come together to form a Y, the 
stem of which is thereafter known as the Gran 



414 



NATURAL HISTORY, DECEMBER, 1 936 



Valira. Along these valleys lie villages and the 
six capitals of the six parishes, also called 
communes. 

Andorra is called a republic and has a chief 
of state commonly referred to as the President, 
although his official title is "The Most Illus- 
trious Syndic and Procurator General of the 
Valleys of Andorra." The real title of the 
state is the Valleys of Andorra. One of the co- 
princes to whom Andorrans do homage is 
nominally the President of France, although in 
reality the French Government has long ago, 
and with doubtful legal and moral propriety, 
taken over his functions, a fact much objected 
to by Andorrans. The other is a prelate of the 
Church, the Bishop of La Seo de Urgel, the 
only ecclesiastical authority outside the Vatican 



still exercising both a spiritual and temporal 
jurisdiction. For many centuries the Bishop of 
Urgel has resided in Andorra's "Spanish Capi- 
tal," called La Seo for short. 

The Most Illustrious First Syndic presides 
over the so-called Council General, a kind of 
legislative, administrative and judicial body 
rolled into one. It meets at four stated times 
of the year in the House of the Valleys at An- 
dorra la Vella, and is composed of twenty-four 
councillors, four from each of the six parishes. 
Afoot or on mules, the councillors were wont 
to come in the days before the automobile and 
motor bus, the first councillor of each of the 
six communes bringing with him the key and 
the Hot. The Hot is cash representing each 
commune's share of the cost of properly enter- 







Andorra's Parliament House 



ANDORRA, A COUNTRY IN THE TAST 



415 




President's House, Andorra 



taining councillors while in session. The six 
keys are for opening the great oaken chest that 
contains the national archives. Until all six 
councillors have come with their six keys the 
chest cannot be opened and the government 
cannot function. 

The members wear long, flowing robes with 
curious flat, black hats having wide brims. 
There is an unwritten law that each councillor 
must come wearing a black tie. If he overlooks 
this formality he is admonished, and mayhap 
fined, by the Syndic, and sent out to get one. 

The usages and customs require that the 
members of the council, once in session, shall 
not leave the capitol building until their busi- 



ness is concluded, and that their sessions be 
held in strict secrecy. Until the recent Youth's 
Revolution, the rule was observed and if there 
was likelihood that the sessions would last 
longer than a day, the men brought their 
blankets with them. There is in the House of 
the Valleys a great kitchen with a fireplace and 
spit in the center of the room suitable for the 
roasting of half an ox. Adjoining it is a dining 
salon, a rectangular piece down the center of 
which runs a wooden table flanked by benches. 
It is still the banquet hall for state occasions. 
There is also a chapel adjoining the session 
chamber, and there is a rule that each meeting 
of the Council must be inaugurated with the 



416 



NATURAL HISTORY, DECEMBER, 1 936 



celebration of the mass. The six communes 
which the councillors represent are like six lit- 
tle countries in a world of their own. They 
have their quarrels and rivalries, their alliances 
and leagues, and it is even of record that once 
they went to war with each other, one and 
one-half of the communes remaining neutral. 

Andorrans call themselves Catalans de pur 
cep — of pure vintage — by which it may be 
taken that they consider themselves free of 
Jewish, Moorish, and other infiltration to 
which Catalan blood of the lowlands has been 
subjected. No doubt they are a vintage of 
Frankish, Visigoth and other stock that pre- 
ceded them. When the Moors began wiping 
out the Visigoths in the tenth century, it is of 
record that many of the latter retreated to the 
fastnesses of the Pyrenees and there success- 
fully defied their persecutors. I have seen 
eleventh and twelfth century records bearing 
the names of families which still live in An- 
dorra in the same localities. 

During the centuries, I am told, the popula- 
tion never exceeded five thousand, though at 
least until recently, with the opportunities of- 
fered by the travelers, there has been a contin- 
uous exodus of youth seeking their fortunes 
elsewhere. By Andorran law they are forever 
Andorrans, as likewise are their wives and 
children no matter where born. 

Andorra is the land of patriarchs. The head 
of the house, the cap de casa, is the guardian 
of the customs, the giver of laws, the wise man 
in times of danger, and, in his own humble 
way, a prophet. These men constitute An- 
dorra's most distinctive institution. 

hand a sacred possession 

Land is the life of an Andorran, and is so 
limited that it has commonly been regarded as 
more valuable than gold or animals. Gold and 
animals may disappear but the land stands for- 
ever. To sell it is either a disgrace or a mis- 
fortune; and if for any reason an Andorran or 
his ancestor has ever had to part with it, it 
was given as a sort of pledge for debt with 
the right to redeem it even after a lapse of 
centuries. With the recent invasion of "civi- 
lizing" influences, however, the transfer of 
small parcels of land has become frequent. 

It was out of the necessity for conserving 
the land that the family, which is the chief 
unit of the Andorran social group, derived its 



character. It is the role of the head of the 
house to transmit the centuries-old traditions 
of his house. The house is an immutable insti- 
tution which preserves its name for all time, 
even though the family name change. The 
cap de casa's children, and their children, live 
under his rule so long as they remain on the 
land. The day will come when one of them 
will be his heir, inheriting the land, inheriting 
the role of upholding the family prestige, in- 
heriting the title of chief. The heir is usually 
the eldest son but the cap may name another 
should he deem him more fit to carry on in the 
traditional manner. 

The Andorran heiress 

It sometimes happens that the inheritance 
devolves upon a girl of the family. Such a one 
is known as a pubilla, and she is much sought 
after. It is almost a foregone conclusion that 
she will marry the heir of some other family. 
The heir, in that case, becomes the cap of the 
two houses, uniting them, but only for the 
time of the union. Both the cap and the 
p